A Medical Device Daily

Cerus (Concord, California) reported a reduction in force of 31 employees, nearly 30% of its current work force, to lower operating expenses.

The company said it expects that once this reduction in force and other cost savings initiatives are fully in place later in 2009, annualized operating expenses may be reduced by more than $10 million compared to operating expenses in 2008.

It said it believes that this workforce reduction will help conserve its cash resources and meet its capital requirements into 2010. The company expects to record a restructuring charge in 1Q09, including nearly $0.7 million related to this workforce reduction.

"Cerus is concentrating its efforts on increasing sales of the Intercept platelet and plasma systems. We believe this reduction in operating expenses will extend our cash runway, reducing the pressure for a near-term financing," said President/CEO Claes Glassell. "We thank all of our employees for their hard work on behalf of the company and their efforts in helping us commercialize the Intercept Blood System."

The reduction does not affect the company's sales force in Europe. Cerus said it remains committed to commercializing the Intercept Blood System in Europe, Russia, the Middle East and in selected regions around the world.

Product sales of the INTERCEPT platelet and plasma systems have grown from $3 million in 2006 to $8 million in 2007 and $15.5 million in 2008.

Cerus said it expects to continue its efforts to establish an acceptable pathway for U.S. regulatory approval of the platelet system. The company also expects to complete a Phase I clinical trial of the Intercept red blood cell system by mid-2009.

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