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Pacific Biosciences Lays off 130 Employees

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb News) – Pacific Biosciences is laying off 130 employees, or 28 percent of its total workforce,it announced after the close of the market on Tuesday.

The layoffs are occurring companywide, but its R&D operations are most affected by the cuts, the Palo Alto, Calif.-based sequencing technology firm said in a document filed with the US Securities and Exchange Commission.

The action comes as a result of "uncertainties associated with the economic environment" and to put the company in a position for success in the long term, it said. PacBio was staffed to support adoption of its products, and the cut in its workforce will allow it to support its customers with better service and product enhancement, while saving it money, it added.

Its board approved the move on Sept. 16, and employees who are being let go were notified on Tuesday.

As a result of the layoffs, PacBio expects to record a restructuring charge of about $5.2 million in the third quarter.

Last month, PacBio announced it had recorded $10.6 million in revenues for the second quarter. It also said that it had a backlog of 35 systems, below what analysts had expected, sending its stock tumbling a day after its earnings release.

PacBio went public in October 2010 and launched its RS single-molecule, real-time sequencing platform in April.

PacBio joins a handful of other life science tools firms that recently have cut their workforce including Life Technologies, PerkinElmer, and Beckman Coulter.