September 3, 2009 / 12:10 PM / 9 years ago

UPDATE 1-Akela to cut staff by 33 pct, close sites

*To cut staff by 33 percent

*Headquarters to be based in Austin, Texas

*Shares last traded at C$0.175

(Adds details)

TORONTO, Sept 3 (Reuters) - Akela Pharma Inc AKL.TO said on Thursday that it cut its staff by 33 percent and close a number of its facilities as the small drugmaker struggles to retain cash.

The company, which is developing a treatment for cancer pain, said it cut its staff by 32 employees to a total of 65. It also said Taneli Jouhikainen, former acting chief executive officer of Akela, will be leaving the company.

Earlier this week it named Greg McKee president and chief executive.

Akela, which is listed on the Toronto Stock Exchange, said a number of its international operations will be closed and the company’s headquarters will be in Austin, Texas.

The company’s shares, which have tumbled about 83 percent in the past year amid cost-cutting and management changes, last traded at 17.5 Canadian cents on Wednesday. ($1=$1.10 Canadian) (Reporting by Scott Anderson, editing by Gerald E. McCormick)

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