Monday, March 03, 2008

QLT USA: Big Change is Coming...

It was a fascinating CBSA BioBreakfast last week featuring two companies accelerating along the greatness trajectory, Accera Pharma and QLT, Inc (NASDAQ: QLTI). Today we will dig in first on QLT.

QLT is a biopharmaceutical company engaged in the discovery, development, and commercialization of therapies in the fields of ophthalmology and dermatology. Its approved products include Visudyne®, for the treatment of choroidal neovascularization, Eligard® for for the treatment of prostate cancer; and Aczone® for the treatment of acne vulgaris.

The company's products under development consist of expansion of the Visudyne and Eligard assets; Aczone for treating Rosacea; Octreotide-Atrigel for the treatment of the symptoms of acromegaly; GHRP-1-Atrigel for the treatment of malnutrition in end-stage renal disease patients on hemodialysis; and Risperidone-Atrigel for the treatment of schizophrenia.

In addition, the company has rights to commercialize ForSight Newco II, Inc.'s proprietary ocular punctal plug drug delivery system. For those of you who do not know…ForSight Labs is an ophthalmic technology incubator established in 2005 by renowned ophthalmologist and retinal surgeon Eugene de Juan, MD in collaboration with The Foundry - ForSight Labs. Like the Menlo Park-based Foundry Incubator, ForSight Labs too is backed by (local) investor Morgenthaler Ventures, as well as Split Rock Partners and Versant Ventures.

Now according to communications from QLT Vancouver-based head quarters, QLT USA (Ft. Collins) operations in 2008 financial statement reporting will be accounted for as a one line item called Income from Discontinued Operations, until divesture. The corporate restructuring announced will emphasize ongoing business focused primarily on the Visudyne® franchise, headcount overall has already been reduced by approximately 45%. Needless to say it will be very interesting to observe where and how the Eligard, Atrigel and remaining pipeline assets find their new corporate homes, let’s hope that at least some, if not all, are parked here in Colorado with the human and intellectual capital in tact. Big change is not necessarily a bad thing. Stay tuned for developments…

***NOTE*** Take a look at the new Boulder Biotech Company Tree (HERE)!
***NOTE*** Read the new eBook CLSDF 2007 - What's In A Year? (HERE)!

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