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Business briefs

Submitted by on 1, March 30, 2009 – 9:15 amNo Comment

It’s gonna be a busy week, folks, so let me hit you with a few quick business briefs before the news gets too stale.

First up: Looks like Alameda biotech Avigen was forced by its main shareholder to liquidate on Friday, according to this rather lengthy piece in the New York Times. The shareholder, Biotechnology Value Fund, reportedly started a proxy fight to replace the company’s board. Avigen apparently gave in to the pressure to liquidate, kept its board – and jettisoned most of its employees, saying it had no further business to pursue.

And according to this piece in the indispensable San Francisco Business Times, local pinkeye drug maker InSite Vision will fire more than half its staff and take a one-time restructuring charge of $400,000. The company, which had a full-time staff of 34 as of December 31, hopes the move will cut its annual operating costs by $2 million, the Business Times reports. A “shareholder coup” last summer led to the departure of the company’s CEO, S. Kumar Chandrasekaran, who got a $1.3 million cash severance.

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