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The Associated Press March 29, 2010, 4:28PM ET

Medivation lays off 20 percent of its staff

Medivation Inc. said Monday it is cutting 23 workers, or 20 percent of its staff, in a move to cut costs and better focus resources on key drug candidates.

The layoffs come weeks after the biopharmaceutical company and partner Pfizer Inc. reported the failure of key drug candidate dimebon in a late-stage Alzheimer's disease study. Wall Street viewed the drug as key to Medivation's future and the study results shaved off more than two-thirds of the stock's value.

The company said it will continue focusing on developing the potential Alzheimer's and Huntington disease drug dimebon and MDV3100, aimed at treating prostate cancer.

Medivation is losing two executives as part of the cuts, including Dr. Karen Reeves, senior vice president of clinical development and Lisa Taylor, vice president of commercial development. Also, the company will stop searching for a new chief financial officer as Patrick Machado will continue in the role, in addition to his current position as chief business officer.

Shares of Medivation fell 21 cents to close at $10.90.

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