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Will Human Genome Sciences Restructuring Cost Genomics Jobs, Too?

NEW YORK, March 26 (GenomeWeb News) - A "majority" of the 200 employees Human Genome Sciences intends to lay off may be genomics and proteomics researchers, according to a company spokesman.


However, he stressed that the firm, which yesterday also announced the impending departure of founder and CEO Bill Haseltine, is still deciding where the staff cuts will come from.


HGS yesterday said it plans to cut around 200 jobs, or 20 percent of the company's total, as it looks for ways to save money. The company said these cuts will come from early-stage research labs and from general and administrative staff.


The firm said it will also focus more intently on certain promising components of its drug pipeline while putting others on the back burner. HGS also said in a statement yesterday that it plans to consolidate some its facilities.


"We've let our [employees] know what the plan is ... and we've been having internal meetings, and we're going to continue to have meetings with our internal management group to make decisions on this," Jerry Parrott, an HGS spokesman, told GenomeWeb News today.


However, he said a "majority" of the job cuts may be made in "early-stage research," which comprises proteomics and genomics scientists. Parrott made his remarks following a reporter's question asking whether "early-stage R&D" is composed of gene sequencing, proteomics, SNP-genotyping, and gene expression.


"When you say 'early research,' clearly you're looking at those kinds of things," he said. "But we've not made decisions with more specificity than I stated." He added that 'early-stage' research includes other, non-genomic disciplines.