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Febit Restructures to Concentrate on miRNA Biomarkers

By a GenomeWeb staff reporter

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb News) – Febit today announced it is restructuring its business "as a consequence of its strategic focus on blood-based microRNA biomarker discovery."

As a result, CEO and President Cord Staehler has resigned and joined Siemens Healthcare. Hartmut Voss has joined the company as co-CEO. Jochen Kohlhaas is the other co-CEO and will continue as the company's chief financial officer.

Voss is currently also an advisor at dievini Hopp BioTech holding and Chief Business Officer at Life Biosystems.

The company has reduced its workforce by about 60 percent.

In a statement, Christof Hettich, chairman of Febit's supervisory board and managing director of dievini Hopp Biotech holding, Febit's main investor, said the restructuring will allow Febit to concentrate on its most successful business segment "at the intersection of nanotechnology and future molecular diagnostics. For biotech technology platform companies, a transition is often difficult and requires a change in management, strategy, and operations. Our decision is based on analysis of a number of factors including what we believe is the best course of action for the company and will also be in the interest of our shareholders."

The firm plans on focusing on partnerships and intellectual property commercialization. Collaborations and provision of high-end services for clinical researchers in academia, diagnostic companies, and pharma will be explored.

Febit will develop high quality human miRNA biochips using its Geniom platform, the company said, adding that miRNA biomarker profiling is a promising field of large scale diagnostics for diseases such as cancer, cardiovascular disease, and multiple sclerosis.