Tech player febit axes 60% of staff in restructuring

With a new focus on blood-based microRNA biomarker discovery, Germany's febit has triggered a restructuring that includes axing more than half its workforce and the departure of its CEO.

The biomarker company says that 60 percent of its staff has been let go, and CEO Cord F. Staehler has resigned and joined Siemens Healthcare. Hartmut Voss, Ph.D., has joined febit as the new co-CEO with Jochen Kohlhaas who will also continue as febit's CFO.

"The restructuring will allow febit to focus on its most successful business segment at the intersection of nanotechnology and future molecular diagnostics," said Professor Christof Hettich, chairman of febit's supervisory board and managing director of febit's main investor dievini Hopp BioTech holding GmbH. "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."

This isn't the first time febit has been forced to restructure. Hopp, a big player in Germany's biotech scene, backed the company in 2005 after discord among investors reportedly caused the tech player to pull its microarray analyzer.

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