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Achaogen to lay off about 80 workers in restructuring

Achaogen Inc. plans to lay off about 80 workers, or approximately 28% of the company's workforce, in a corporate restructuring.

The South San Francisco, Calif.-based biotechnology company says the restructuring will allow it to focus its resources on the commercialization of urinary tract infection drug Zemdri in the U.S., on the filing of Zemdri's marketing authorization application in the EU and on the development of its C-Scape program.

C-Scape is a clinical candidate Achaogen is developing to treat patients with complicated urinary tract infections who have lost treatment options due to multi-drug resistant pathogens.

Achaogen expects to incur one-time employee benefits and severance charges of about $6 million, along with additional costs, in the third quarter of 2018. The company's commercial and medical affairs teams are not included in the restructuring.

Personnel changes

As part of the restructuring, Kenneth Hillan, president of research and development; Tobin Schilke, CFO; and Lee Swem, chief scientific officer, will leave the company on Oct. 15, Sept. 30 and Sept. 24, respectively. Hillan will continue to serve on the company's board.

Further, Zeryn Sarpangal, Achaogen's chief of staff, will be appointed CFO, as well as principal financial officer and principal accounting officer, on Oct. 1. Liz Bhatt, the company's chief business officer, will also assume the role of COO on July 26.