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Cellomics Cuts 25 Percent of its Workforce

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The Pittsburgh based company announced the layoffs last week, as well as a reshuffling of its six-member board of directors. Cellomics added five new board members, including three representatives of Carl Zeiss, the German optics company. Zeiss was the lead investor in a $15 million round of financing for Cellomics last month. The two companies have collaborated on products including readers and workstations, while Zeiss supplies the optics for Cellomics’s ArrayScan reader.

The company laid off its workers in an attempt to hit profitability within three to six months, said a spokesman.

“At this point, it was the only prudent business decision to make,” said Terrence Brady, company spokesman. Laid off employees received a severance package and outplacement assistance, he said.

Founded in 1996, Cellomics develops cell-based screening technologies for new therapeutics and sells its ArrayScan system, analysis/database software, and fluorescent reagents.

The company has taken six rounds of venture capital investment for $72 million, including a $15 million round in September with Zeiss that also included Oxford Bioscience, Axiom Venture Partners, and Vector Fund. The company, which in October 2001 withdrew a $60 million initial public offering, had laid off 50 employees of its nearly 200 employee staff in January 2002.

D. Lansing Taylor, president and chief executive officer of the company, was named chairman of the board and he is joined by: James Sharp, president, Microimaging North America, Zeiss; Norbert Gorny, director, Zeiss; and Ulrich Simon, head of global microscopy business, Zeiss. Other board members include Jonathan Fleming, managing partner of Oxford BioScience, and Buck Phillips, managing director, Vector Fund.

Former board member Alan Mendelson, general partner of Axiom, was not included on the new board but will serve in an advisory role.

Cellomics has 85 workers now.

— MOK

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