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GeneNews Restructures, To Cut 60 Percent of Staff; President, COO Resigns

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb News) – GeneNews today announced a restructuring of the company that includes the resignation of its President and COO Gailina Liew and a reduction in headcount of about 60 percent of its staff.

The company said that the restructuring is aimed at positioning its recently formed joint venture called Innovative Diagnostic Laboratory to become "a leader in molecular diagnostics and personalized medicine." Formed in partnership with Health Diagnostic Laboratory, IDL will commercialize GeneNews' ColonSentry colorectal cancer test in the US, excluding New York and New Jersey.

The restructuring, GeneNews said, will sharpen its focus on the commercialization of ColonSentry while reducing the company's cost structure. Last week, the company said that revenues in the second quarter fell more than five-fold year over year.

"As we enter this very important stage of GeneNews' commercial development, we need to have an organization that is structured to meet the tasks of product launch, as well as new product acquisition and development," GeneNews Executive Chairman James Howard-Tripp said in a statement. "We have taken this difficult step now to restructure the company and reduce spending in order to extend our existing cash runway so that we may continue to focus on helping IDL reach its full potential."

As of June 30, GeneNews had C$510,740 in cash and C$5.9 million in short-term investments.

The staff reductions are expected to occur by Nov. 30, GeneNews said, and will focus on "reducing its internal effort behind pure research while maintaining its scientific competence and enhancing support for its business development, commercialization, and regulatory functions."

It is unclear how many people GeneNews currently employs.

In addition to relinquishing her roles as president and COO, Liew has resigned from the Toronto-based molecular diagnostic firm's board. She has been with GeneNews since 2000, according to the company's website. No replacement was named.