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Response Biomedical to Cut Workforce, Focus on Roche Partnership

By a GenomeWeb staff reporter

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb News) – Response Biomedical today said that it will refocus its resources and cut its workforce around 25 percent in an effort to cut costs.

The Vancouver, BC-based molecular diagnostics firm said that it aims to trim C$2 million (US$1.9 million) in costs in 2011. Part of those savings will come from trimming its workforce, though the firm did not say how many total positions it expects to cut.

In addition, response Biomedical said that it would focus its efforts on its partnership with Roche Diagnostics and other distributors to grow its cardiovascular testing business. It said that part of its decision was based on 3M's decision not to proceed with development of the firm's next-generation flu product.

"We will continue to support 3M in their commercial operations efforts in the infectious diseases product line in the US, however, their decision not to move forward with the next generation flu product and market outlook for the coming months has caused us to refocus and restructure our business as we move toward profitability," Response Biomedical CEO S. Wayne Kay. "While we do see further opportunities to grow the business in other diagnostic areas eventually, we want to first deliver on our promise to our shareholders to become cash flow positive and move to profitability."

Last month, the firm reported that its second-quarter revenues had fallen 18 percent year over year to C$2.3 million, while it posted a net loss of C$1.9 million, flat with the previous year's Q2.

As of June 30, Response Biomedical had $543,617 in cash and cash equivalents.

It subsequently announced that it had closed on a C$8 million private placement.

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