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Deltagen Makes More Cuts, Goes Headless as New President Steps Down

NEW YORK, Jan. 27-Struggling to cut costs and boost its stock price, Deltagen has laid off staff and made plans to to cut loose its two subsidiaries, the company said earlier this month.


Staff cuts, focused in drug development R&D, brought the company's overall headcount down to 200.


The company also will shed its Salt Lake City proteomics subsidiary, Deltagen Proteomics, and its R&D center in Strasbourg, France. Deltagen plans to sell or spin off the divisions, but failing that, it will shut them down.


Deltagen says it is refocusing its operations to turn toward providing tools and services based on its mammalian transgenic technologies. The realignment is an about face: as recently as last May, company CEO William Matthews was adamantthat Deltagen was a drug developer, not a tool shop.


On top of these changes, president and chief operating officer Michael Sember has left to pursue other interests, the company said in a terse Jan. 21 statement.


Sember, who came on board last April, was previously executive vice president of business development at Elan.


The departure leaves the transgenic technology company searching for new senior management. In November, the company announced management changesand launched a search for a new CEO. Deltagen said at the time that co-founder and CEO William Matthews would become part of a new Office of the Chairman. He still retains the title of CEO now, and a spokesperson for the company said that Deltagen's day-to-day operations are being directed by Matthews, Chief Financial Officer Richard Hawkins, and board chair Constantine Anagostopoulos.


Deltagen also said that board member Edward E. Penhoet, who had joined the board last June, has resigned.


Deltagen, like others in the sector, is struggling to raise its share price above the $1 Nasdaq minimum price. The company received a warning from the exchange in Decemberthat it must bring its stock price above that benchmark before March 19 or risk being delisted.


For further details, see the company statement.

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