Despite Novo deal, VLST cuts jobs

Seattle's VLST confirmed today that it's completed a round of layoffs. In an email to Xconomy, the company declined to say how many employees were cut, though the paper speculates about 30 percent of the developer's 40 jobs were eliminated.

In 2008, the company inked a partnership deal with Novo Nordisk for new drugs targeting autoimmune and inflammatory diseases. That gave VLST $12 million up front, money for 12 VLST employees' salaries, and supposedly enough cash to make it through 2010. But the company was running out of money more quickly than anticipated, triggering a round of layoffs.

"On an as-needed basis, we evaluate our programs and resources to make sure they are in alignment. Upon recently completing such an evaluation, we restructured to best fit our current needs," CEO Marty Simonetti says in an e-mail to Xconomy's Luke Timmerman. "Our restructuring was not focused on any group in particular. Our research group is heavily focused on our relationship with Novo Nordisk, which has not changed."

- take a look at the report from Xconomy