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Inex Pharmaceuticals Corp. says its chief executive officer David Main and two other executives are departing as the company continues to slash its workforce in a bid to conserve cash and chart "a new strategic path."

The Vancouver-based firm announced Tuesday that Timothy Ruane has been appointed president and CEO, effective immediately. Ruane had been senior vice-president of corporate development.

Inex said it is cutting its workforce by more than half to 22 employees from 57, which will reduce its expenditures to less than $1 million a month.

This is the company's second round of deep staff cuts. In December, it announced it was eliminating 103 of its 165 personnel.

That move came two weeks after a U.S. Food and Drug Administration committee recommended against fast-track approval for a cancer drug Inex is jointly developing.

The company said the latest reductions will result in severance costs of about $4.4 million, leaving it with working capital of $16 million going into the third quarter beginning July 1.

Main had been with Inex since 1996 and became president in July 1999. Also leaving are Tom MacRury, senior vice-president of technical operations, and Alexandra Mancini, senior vice-president of clinical and regulatory affairs.

"David's outstanding leadership was critical in the company's transformation from a research-driven to a product-focused biopharmaceutical company, and Tom and Alex both made important contributions to the company over many years," Darrell Elliott, chair of the company, said in a release.

"We are also grateful for the dedication of our other departing employees," he said.

Inex (TSX:IEX)said its lead cancer drug, Marqibo, has shown "promising" results in clinical trials, but it won't complete protocols for the Phase 3 trials with the FDA until it secures a new partner for the drug.

Shares of Inex closed down three cents at 36 cents on the TSX. They had traded as high as $6.28 last year.