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Lynx Therapeutics Fires 30 Percent of Staff

NEW YORK, April 18 - Lynx Therapeutics today said it has cut approximately 30 percent of its domestic workforce, or 60 people, and said it expects to focus more on its MPSS gene-expression technology and on the development of its Protein ProFiler proteomics technology.

"Our plan is to focus our resources on those areas that we feel have the greatest commercial value," Norrie Russell, president and CEO of Lynx, said in a statement. "We recognize and thank our former employees for their contributions. Accordingly, we planned this workforce reduction with sensitivity and respect."

The job cuts were from the company's internal gene-discovery efforts and did not affect people involved in its MPSS and protein-profiling areas, a person close to the company said.

The cuts come a little more than one month after Lynx sold its worldwide rights to its oligonucleotide technology to Geron for roughly $2.5 million. The cash-and-stock deal covers the sale of a family of patents that covers process and compositional matter related to oligos containing N3'-P5' phosphoramidate backbone linkages.

Russell added: "We believe that MPSS can achieve greater market penetration and a much higher level of commercial success. In addition, we consider our Protein ProFiler proteomics technology to be a valuable asset because of its development progress to date, and the likelihood for commercial success."

Company officials did not immediately return telephone calls seeking comment.

Lynx said yesterday it had obtained commitments to private-equity financing worth up to $22.6 million.