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UPDATE: Genomic Solutions to Slash 25% of Jobs; Future of Proteomics Effort Uncertain

NEW YORK, Sept. 7 – Proteomics and microarray developer Genomic Solutions said on Friday it plans to cut 25 percent of its workforce and restructure its business to help it become profitable by the first quarter of next year. 

The company said in a statement that the restructuring includes the closing of an R&D and manufacturing facility in Lansing, Michigan. Jobs associated with that space will be transplanted to the company’s headquarters in Ann Arbor. 

Positions in Michigan and in Genomic Solutions’ UK facilities will be eliminated by the end of the fourth quarter this year, the company added.

Genomic Solutions said its proteomic contract research business will either be spun out to an internal management group as a stand-alone business in which Genomic Solutions will maintain a minority shareholder status, or it will be sold outright. 

The company also said it intends to retain chemical, reagent, and accessory manufacturing operations that share facilities with the proteomic contract research center. The company will continue to offer genomic research services in its existing in-house genomic laboratory.

“We are taking steps now to accelerate achievement of Genomic Solutions' financial performance goals,” Jeffrey S. Williams, the firm’s president and chief executive officer, said in the statement. “It is more than simply cutting costs--it is a fundamental restructuring of all of our available resources to further build our position as one of the leading suppliers of DNA microarray and proteomic systems in the life sciences marketplace.”

The layoffs will not affect Genomic Solutions’ microarray business, according to Kathleen Murphy, vice president of corporate communications at Genomic Solutions. The layoffs will come from the “consolidating of manufacturing,” she added. “A lot of these people were offered relocation.”

Genomic Solutions has 170 employees and will reduce this amount by approximately  43 between now and the end of the year, Murphy said. Specific positions to be cut “are not all determined yet,” she added.

“We are a publicly held company and it is important for us as a publicly held company to determine what our stockholders are looking for,” Murphy added. “It is important for us to be profitable. ... It is important to every one of our employees.”

The company expects to be profitable in the first quarter of next year, Murphy said.

Separately on Friday, Genomic Solutions said it plans to purchase privately held Cartesian Technologies in a cash and stock deal that the struggling company hopes will help buttress its foothold in the automation tools market. 

Terms of the deal call for Genomic Solutions to issue 6.8 million shares of common stock, options to buy 449,319 shares of common stock and $2.5 million in cash. 

“Enhanced revenue and cost reduction opportunities, plus the inherent product cross-selling opportunities, make this acquisition a timely, ideal fit for Genomic Solutions,” Williams said in a separate statement.

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