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Talis Biomedical Lays Off 90 Percent of Workforce, Will Explore Strategic Alternatives

NEW YORK – Point-of-care infectious disease testing company Talis Biomedical announced on Tuesday that it has begun exploring strategic alternatives and will lay off approximately 90 percent of its workforce in an attempt to preserve cash. 

The firm's board of directors has appointed a special committee of independent directors to consider a variety of strategic alternatives, including equity or debt financing alternatives, an acquisition, a merger or reverse merger, divestiture of assets, licensing, or other strategic transactions, Talis said in a statement. TD Cowen will act as a financial adviser in the review.

The firm hasn't set a timeline for completion of the strategic process and said it does not intend to provide progress updates unless and until further disclosure is appropriate or necessary. 

The company is also reducing its workforce by about 90 percent and consolidating its operations to a single site in Chicago. Talis will also be implementing additional cost-saving measures to lower cash burn, it said.

Talis also announced its financial results for the third quarter, reporting Q3 revenue of $140,000 compared to $796,000 a year ago. Grant revenue was $64,000 and product revenue totaled $76,000 during the quarter.

Net loss was $15.7 million in Q3 2023, compared to $26.0 million in the prior-year quarter. The company ended the quarter with $88.0 million in cash and cash equivalents.

After going public in a $254 million initial public offering in 2021, Talis has hit a series of roadblocks. Last year, the company reduced its workforce by 35 percent and said it would stop commercializing its COVID-19 assay to refocus on opportunities in the women's and sexual health spaces. Earlier in 2022, it announced that the beta-phase rollout of its Talis One molecular diagnostic system would be delayed due to manufacturing issues and invalid rates greater than 10 percent. 

The Talis One system uses real-time loop-mediated isothermal amplification (LAMP) for DNA targets and real-time reverse transcription LAMP for RNA targets, and features an on-cartridge sample extraction step, according to the company's website.