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Cellomics Cuts One in Four Jobs as it Struggles to Become Profitable

NEW YORK, Jan. 30 - In an effort to become profitable, Cellomics has laid off 50 employees, or one in four workers, and postponed one of its major research drives, the company said on Tuesday.


Cellomics was planning to launch a more ambitious second business-development phase in which it would develop collaborative deals to apply its systems in toxicology, target identification and validation, said President and CEO D. Lansing Taylor. As part of that effort, the company staffed up new departments and filed papers for an IPO in the spring of 2000.


But given current market conditions, the project has been sidelined for now, Taylor conceded.


"Some of [our plans] we're just not going to pursue aggressively," he said. "The market is rewarding profitability, not upside value. So we're focused on making the platform business--the Phase I model--profitable."


Cellomics hopes to touch black by the end of 2002 or the beginning of 2003, he added.


The new departments have been cut back to skeleton staffing, said Taylor. The layoffs represented about 25 percent of Cellomics' workforce.


Another project that has been put on the back burner is the company's efforts to develop cell chip technology for patterning and microplates. "Since there's not a market today for miniaturization, we're delaying product development," said Taylor.


He also said that the company was prepared to go public as soon as market conditions became favorable again. "When there is a window, we are prepared to go through it."

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