layoffs

Roche said the layoffs at its Madison, Wisconsin site will start Dec. 31 and continue through June 30, 2020.

The company is developing tests based on the analysis of the spatial patterns of chromosomes by tagging and imaging their telomeres.

The company said the layoffs are part of a cost-reduction plan that aims to initially cut annual operating expenses by $1.7 million.

The restructuring and job cuts are expected to save the firm more than $70 million annually. 

The decisions are part of the company's restructuring efforts after it was unable to extend deferral of its debt payment with its senior lender.

The moves are part of an effort to consolidate and reduce costs related to administrative, finance, and operational support functions.

The firm said that it planned to lay off its oncology sales team in order to focus on women's health, despite launching an oncology business unit last spring. 

In October, Roche reported the tissue diagnostics business contributed 8 percent to diagnostics sales in the first nine months of 2016.

The firm's CEO Ramji Srinivasan said the layoffs would help focus the company on developing relationships with clinicians and medical providers.

In November, the company said it was selling off its biomedical commercialization and marketing services business in order to focus on its diagnostic offerings.

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Consulting company McKinsey says diagnostics companies will have to combine genomic data analysis, electronic medical records, effective reimbursement strategies, and regulatory compliance in order to win.

A new report has found that researchers in Africa are still heavily dependent on funding from organizations in the US, Europe, and China, Nature News says.

An article in The Atlantic argues that the progress being made in science isn't keeping pace with the money and time being spent on research.

In Science this week: a CRISPR screen identifies sideroflexin 1 as a requisite component of one-carbon metabolism, and more.