December 6, 2012 / 2:48 PM / 6 years ago

QLT says to cut 42 percent of its workforce after drug sale to Valeant

(Reuters) - Canadian drug development company QLT Inc QLT.TO QLTI.O said it will cut 42 percent of its workforce, leaving it with 38 employees, following the sale of its eye drug to Valeant Pharmaceuticals International Inc VRX.TO VRX.N.

Valeant said in September it would buy Visudyne, used to treat age-related blindness, for $112.5 million.

QLT performed well in the early 2000s on sales of Visudyne but lost market share following entry of rival products such as Novartis AG’s NOVN.VX Lucentis.

The company in July cut 68 percent of its workforce and its chief executive resigned following a shakeup after activist investors gained control of its board.

QLT said on Thursday it expects to record a restructuring charge of about $2 million relating to the job cuts.

It expects annualized expenses to fall by about $3.8 million once the reorganization is fully implemented in the first half of 2013, when the affected employees will leave the company.

Shares of the Vancouver-based company, which has a market value of C$408 million, fell 1 percent to C$7.76 on the Toronto Stock Exchange on Thursday. They fell about the same percent to $7.80 on the Nasdaq.

Reporting by Bhaswati Mukhopadhyay in Bangalore; Editing by Ted Kerr

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