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DeCode Lays Off 14 Percent of Staff to Conserve Cash


NEW YORK (GenomeWeb News) – DeCode Genetics has laid off 60 employees, or around 14 percent of its staff, in an effort to ensure it has enough cash to last two years, the company disclosed today in a filing with the US Securities and Exchange Commission.  
 
The company said in the filing that the layoffs are “in line with its longstanding goal of ensuring that it has cash resources to last approximately two years.”
 
Almost all of the affected employees are in the company’s Reykjavik, Iceland, facilities, DeCode said.
 
Prior to the layoffs, the company employed 429 full-time staff. According to DeCode’s most recent annual report, 143 of those staffers were employed in the US and 286 in Iceland.
 
As of Sept. 30, 2007, the most recent period for which financial data is available, DeCode had cash and cash equivalents of $45.8 million and $118.6 million in cash, cash equivalents, and investments.
 
The company said in its quarterly report for that period that it will “require significant additional capital" to advance its drug development pipeline, "and so we will continue to investigate additional avenues of financing, such as further public or private equity offerings, additional debt financing, other forms of financing or added collaborations and licensing arrangements.”
 
DeCode acknowledged, however, that “no assurance can be given that additional financing or collaborations and licensing arrangements will be available when needed, or that if available, will be obtained on favorable terms,” and warned that if unable to raise additional cash, “we may have to curtail operations or attempt to raise funds on unattractive terms.”
 
In mid-afternoon trading, DeCode’s shares were down 11 percent to $2.23.

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