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DiaGenic Cutting Jobs as Part of Cost Reduction Program

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb News) – Norwegian biomarker diagnostics firm DiaGenic today announced the initiation of a cost reduction program, which includes the elimination of an undisclosed number of jobs.

The program, which also will cut facility and administrative expenses, is anticipated to save the company more than NOK600,000 ($99,000) each month, it said.

DiaGenic did not specify how many jobs would be eliminated or provide additional details about its cost reduction effort. The company did not respond to a request for additional information.

In its 2012 annual report, DiaGenic said it had 17 employees as of the end of last year.

The company has about NOK27.8 million in cash and cash equivalents as of June 30, it said in its 2013 second quarter earnings document released on Friday.

In a statement today, it said that the reductions aim "to maximize DiaGenic's flexibility related to corporate development initiatives while retaining core capabilities for its current business critical operations."

The company is currently developing two gene expression-based products AMYtect and MCItect for the detection of Alzheimer's disease. Top line results from studies related to the tests are anticipated around the end of the third quarter, with full study readouts anticipated in the fourth quarter, DiaGenic said.

AMYtec is for detecting brain amyloid and is being developed under a collaboration with GE Healthcare. MCItect is for the detection of mild cognitive impairment and is aimed at patients within two years prior to the onset of dementia.

In its second quarter earnings report, DiaGenic said that the validation study for MCItect had failed to reach the study's goals, and as a result, it no longer plans to pursue CE marking or US trials with the current version of the test. Development of and verification of an optimized MCItect test, based on a larger and geographically more representative patient population has started.

A third product in the pipeline called ADtect is for detecting mild to moderate Alzheimer's disease and is pending a validation study that will follow the readout of the studies for AMYtect and MCItect, DiaGenic said.

Prior to clinical use, AMYtect and MCItect would require validation studies, which would necessitate additional equity financing, strategic partnerships, or an asset or trade sales, it added.

"The cost reduction program is focused on shorter term asset value development while maximizing DiaGenic's flexibility for longer term company development within the current financial framework," the company said.