Enzon Pharmaceuticals Plans to Cut Almost Half of Its Workforce

Enzon Pharmaceuticals Inc. (ENZN), the biotechnology company pressured to sell assets by investor Carl Icahn, said it will cut almost half its workforce in June 2012 to reduce annual operating costs by about $6 million.

The move will reduce the staff to 47 and enable Enzon to “more closely align its resources with the company’s research and development activities,” the Piscataway, New Jersey-based company said today in a statement.

Enzon, under pressure from Icahn, agreed last November to sell its Sigma-Tau Pharmaceuticals unit, and announced in February that Jeffrey Buchalter had resigned as chief executive officer. Alex Denner, senior managing director at Icahn Enterprises LP, is the company’s board chairman and Richard Mulligan, an Icahn associate and a genetics professor at Harvard Medical School, also serves on Enzon’s board.

Icahn’s firms owned about 12 percent of Enzon or 6.9 million shares, as of June 30, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

Enzon declined 20 cents, or 2.6 percent, to $7.50 at 4 p.m. New York time in Nasdaq Stock Market trading before the announcement. The company’s shares have dropped 38 percent this year.

To contact the reporter on this story: Molly Peterson in Washington at mpeterson9@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Adriel Bettelheim at abettelheim@bloomberg.net

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