Amicus' 'Transformative' Changes Look More Like Big Step Backward

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Talk about a news dump. On Wednesday night, Amicus Therapeutics ( FOLD) announced 1) the loss of its biggest and most important drug development partner GlaxoSmthKline ( GSK); 2) the acquisition of Callidus Biopharma, a small, privately held orphan disease drug maker; 3) a corporate restructuring in which 14% of the company's employees were fired; 4) the resignation of its chief scientific officer; and 5) $40 million in new equity and debt financing.

Amicus CEO John Crowley heralded the changes as "transformative" and said the company was now stronger and better positioned to develop new enzyme replacement therapies for orphan diseases like Fabry and Pompe.

But Amicus shares didn't budge in Wednesday's after-hours trading session -- a sign investors weren't necessarily buying into Crowley's rosy interpretation of events. 

Investors might still be trying to figure out what tonight's "repositioning" really means. Here's one way of thinking about Amicus: If you haven't already written off Amigal, the company's lead drug for Fabry, then you should now that Glaxo bailed. And without Amigal, Amicus' pipeline reverts back to preclinical candidates for orphan diseases, which means the competitive gap between it and rivals Sanofi  ( SNY) and Biomarin Pharmaceuticals ( BMRN) has grown wider. 

Perhaps the best thing to be said about Amicus today is that with the stock down 53% in the past year and a $100 million market cap, investors haven't exactly been giving the company much credit for anything. 

You can read more about the restructuring of Amicus' Amigal agreement with Glaxo here and Amicus' acquisition of Callidus here.

-- Reported by Adam Feuerstein in Boston.

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Adam Feuerstein writes regularly for TheStreet. In keeping with company editorial policy, he doesn't own or short individual stocks, although he owns stock in TheStreet. He also doesn't invest in hedge funds or other private investment partnerships. Feuerstein appreciates your feedback; click here to send him an email.

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