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SQI Realigns Business, Reduces Workforce

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb News) – SQI Diagnostics announced after the close of the market on Wednesday that it is restructuring its business to focus on its Diagnostics Tools and Services business.

The reorganization includes reducing its workforce by 14 positions, bringing the total number of employees to 36.

Also, the Toronto-based molecular diagnostics company intends to focus on three areas — in vitro products in production; regulatory filings for later stage quantitative multiplexed products already in development; and generation of near-term revenues by "converting several of the many current prospects for our Diagnostic Tools and Services offerings."

The company also said that there are "significant opportunities" to finalize its CustomPlex service business development and commercial agreements, potentially creating revenue streams.

Annually, the changes are expected to save SQI C$3.5 million (US$3.4 million) with half of that coming from workforce reductions.

"This realignment strengthens our financial position by focusing our resources on the prioritized programs that we believe have the greatest potential to deliver value," Claude Ricks, president and CEO of SQI, said in a statement. "We believe that the strategic realignment to the perceived needs of our customers will provide SQI a more sustainable cost structure."

SQI said that it will continue serving its core IVD business and continue to develop and launch new multiplexed products aimed at the autoimmune diagnostic market. It intends to "reduce the number of simultaneous products under development."

The priority will be late-stage IVD programs, and SQI will focus on submitting its Quantitative Celiac 6-plex assay for regulatory approval in the US, Canada, and European Union. Afterward, it will concentrate on products for the diagnosis of vasculitis and lupus. The vasculitis product is in late-stage development, while the lupus product is at the end of early-stage development.

During the summer SQI filed for an initial public offering in the US, but early last month withdrew its bid, citing market conditions.

As a result of its withdrawal it added that it did not expect to complete its proposed purchase of German microarray firm Scienion.

However, it did complete a $4.6 million private placement last month.

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