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SeraCare Sacks Management and Nasdaq Stops Trade as Firm Claims Past Financials Unreliable

NEW YORK, March 16 (GenomeWeb News) - The Nasdaq exchange halted trading in SeraCare Life Sciences yesterday and asked for additional information after the company sought the resignation of four executives and said its past financial statements were not reliable.


Documents filed with the SEC on Monday stated that SeraCare has terminated the contracts of chairman Barry Plost, president and CEO Michael Crowley, secretary Jerry Burdick, and chief financial officer Craig Hooson.


Thomas Lawlor, the current chief operating officer of the company, has been named interim-CEO, according to the filing.


SeraCare acquired the assets of Celliance for about $3.7 million in January. Celliance, which last October acquired gene-expression technology from Innovata, primarily offers products for cell culture and diagnostic applications. The acquisition was aimed at increasing SeraCare's footprint in molecular diagnostic reagents, diagnostic intermediates, and substrates, Crowley said at the time.


SeraCare also said its financial reports for the quarters ended Dec. 31, 2004, March 31, 2005, and June 30, 2005, were no longer reliable. The company has not filed its annual report with the SEC due to a pending audit review.


Trading was halted yesterday at 7:55 a.m. at a sale price of $11.52, and will be suspended until the company has provided additional information, said Nasdaq.


SeraCare could not comment on when the information would be presented.


SeraCare has facilities in Cambridge and Bridgewater, Mass.; Frederick and Gaithersburg, Md.; and HatboroPenn. It sells plasma-based therapeutic products, diagnostic products, and reagents; cell culture products; specialty plasmas; in vitro stabilizers; and a clinical sample repository for use in drug discovery and development.

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