Maxim Pharmaceuticals

(MAXM)

Monday announced an austerity plan to "reduce its cash burn rate" and ensure that the company has enough funding to pursue approval of its skin cancer treatment Ceplene.

The San Diego-based company will cut 50% of its workforce, a move that includes the departure of its CFO Anthony Altig and Chief Scientific Officer Kurt Gehlsen. In addition, CEO Larry Stambaugh is taking a voluntarily reduction in his salary for the current fiscal year, according to the company.

"We believe it is prudent and necessary to reduce our workforce and take other measures to conserve our financial resources," the company said.

The restructuring was prompted by the unexpected negative outcome of Maxim's confirmatory phase III clinical trial of Ceplene in advanced malignant melanoma patients.

Shares rose 5 cents, or 2.1%, to $2.40, just off their 52-week low of $2.32.