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Vical to Scale Back With Staff Cuts, Office Closure

Vical, a San Diego-based biotech developing DNA vaccines, said Nov. 21 it planned to cut 20 percent of its work force and close a research facility in an effort to preserve capital.

The restructuring will eliminate 29 positions, leaving the company with about 120 employees.

Vical President and CEO Vijay Samant said the company needed to reduce spending and focus its efforts on advancing late-stage programs, including an experimental treatment for advanced metastatic melanoma and a DNA vaccine for cytomegalovirus, a member of the herpes family. The restructuring efforts are expected to save Vical approximately $4 million a year.

“We regret the impact this unavoidable decision will have on our departing employees, whose past dedication and efforts have supported Vical’s significant progress,” Samant said in a statement.

Vical is the latest in a string of local biotechs to announce job cuts and other cost-cutting measures as the squeezed credit markets make new funding unavailable.

The company said it expects to incur restructuring charges of about $800,000 in the fourth quarter and another $500,000 in the first quarter of 2009.

, Heather Chambers

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