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DoubleTwist Plays Down IPO Withdrawal, Firings; Company to Focus on Boosting Revenue

NEW YORK,  March 12 – DoubleTwist CEO John Couch said Monday that the company’s withdrawal of its IPO last week was nothing but “a tactical financial move,” noting that the company has enough cash to last through the year.

While leaving open the possibility of raising money through a private placement or a merger, Couch said he would focus on boosting the company’s revenues from subscriptions to its annotated databases of genomic data and associated bioinformatics tools. 

“Where do we go from here? We focus on sales and revenues,” said Couch. “We have plenty of cash.”

As of the end of September, DoubleTwist had $24.1 million in cash.

Couch added that the company would release a third generation of its Prophecy database next month, which will include a tool set from Molecular Similutions that predicts and assigns function to previously unassigned protein sequences.

In addition to postponing the IPO, DoubleTwist also announced about twenty layoffs last week, or about ten percent of the company’s workforce. Couch said the staff reduction affected all areas of the company evenly, including R&D, sales and marketing, and management.

“It’s not anything major—just a streamlining,” said Couch.

DoubleTwist’s business plan has historically been the subject of some controversy, with some market watchers commenting that the company’s aggressive marketing overshadowed the substance of the company’s databases. 

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