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Sleepless in San Diego?

neuro.gifIt’s been hard not to feel sorry for biotech developer Neurocrine Biosciences (NBIX) lately.  Four months ago, the San Diego-based company was wailing a tale of woe when the FDA delayed approval of Neurocrine’s promising insomnia drug and the stock cratered from $55 to $20 in a single day.  Then Pfizer (PFE) ended its four year relationship with the company. And then in July, Neurocrine fired its entire 200-member salesforce, because, as thestreet.com aptly noted, the company had nothing to sell. The stock has continued to slide and is now trading at under $11.

But judging by this 8-K that we spotted late yesterday, Neurorine still has enough money to send one of its executives off into the sunset. In the accompanying press release, Neurocrine disclosed that CFO Paul Hawran was planning to retire but "agreed to remain at the Company through the first quarter of 2007 to ensure a smooth and orderly transition for financial operations, while continuing as an advisor."  It also appears per the 8-K that Hawran agreed to receive his $365,000 salary through the six-month transition period, as well as $1,200,000 in cash and twelve months of post-retirement insurance coverage. To be fair, Hawran, who’s 54, has been at the company since 1993, so he’s certainly put in his time. But he’s not exactly leaving empty-handed. Back in May, when the stock was still trading at around $20 a share, Hawran sold about $2.4 million worth of stock. So we’re guessing that he’s not losing any sleep over his departure.