San Diego-based Amylin Pharmaceuticals, along with partners Eli Lilly & Co. and Alkermes Inc., announced today that they have filed for U.S. Food and Drug Administration approval for the once-weekly version of Byetta, Amylin’s diabetes drug.

The application for the new drug, on which Amylin is largely pinning its future, comes a day after the biotech announced that it is laying off 200 salespeople.

This brings the total number of layoffs at the company since late last year to more than 500, or more than a quarter of its workforce. In November, Amylin laid off 340 people, a move that was a reaction to slower-than-expected sales of the once-daily version of Byetta and the overall bad economy.

Also, the company’s board of directors remains embroiled in a proxy battle with famed corporate raider Carl Icahn and Eastbourne Capital Management, which together own 22 percent of Amylin shares. Icahn and Eastbourne have said that poor stewardship by the board has contributed to the company’s lagging stock price and are pushing for cost cuts.

Amylin has high hopes for the new version of Byetta. It would be the only once-a-week therapy for diabetes.


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