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Rosetta Genomics Announces Layoffs

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb) – Rosetta Genomics announced today that it will implement a cost-reduction plan that aims to initially trim its annual operating expenses by $1.7 million, primarily through layoffs and discretionary spending cuts.

Rosetta said that it would reduce employee and contractor headcount in both the US and Israel, but did not provide specific details about its plan such as the number of jobs that would be eliminated or exact areas of expense reduction.

As of Dec. 31 — the last date for which Rosetta publicly released financial results — the company had 86 employees, 47 of whom were in R&D. Sixty-six of the firm's employees were in the US, with the remaining 20 based in Israel.

"We are taking these steps in order to concentrate our resources on accelerating volume and revenue increases for our RosettaGX Reveal assay for classifying indeterminate thyroid nodules, which is a product we believe offers both near- and long-term significant growth opportunities," Rosetta President and CEO Kenneth Berlin said in a statement. "The decision to eliminate positions is extremely difficult but necessary so that we can progress our commercial efforts for our leading assays for the benefit of patients, providers, and payers, and advance our path to profitability."

In May, Rosetta disclosed that it is selling its PersonalizeDx business — which it bought in 2015 for $2 million in cash plus 500,000 shares and undisclosed assets and services — as part of an ongoing effort to focus on the Reveal assay.

Rosetta said today that its planned cost-control initiative, combined with the divestiture of PersonalizeDx, is expected to result in an aggregate annual operating expense reduction of $4.8 million. The company reported total operating expenses of $17.5 million for 2016.

During Tuesday morning trading on the Nasdaq, shares of Rosetta were up 1 percent at $1.65.