ESCAgenetics slashed its workforce by 50 percent, cutting 15 peoplefrom the payroll, including the San Carlos, Calif., company'schairman, Raymond Moshy.

Richard Moser, president and CEO, said that although Moshy nolonger will be paid, he will remain as chairman and continue "towork on the company's behalf."

Moser would not say how much money ESCAgenetics will save withthe staff reductions. At the end of the quarter, Sept. 30 1994, thecompany reported it had enough money to operate through February.

In addition to the layoffs, Moser said ESCAgenetics is negotiatingfor new financing to continue its programs, which focus ondeveloping plant-derived products for the pharmaceutical andagricultural markets.

"We're not cutting any programs," Moser said. "We've just skinnyeddown the headquarters and reduced the head count in our TruePotato Seed operations."

The changes, he added, have no effect on the collaboration betweenESCAgenetics' subsidiary, PHYTOpharmaceuticals Inc., of SanCarlos, and Sun Hill Glucose Co. Ltd., of South Korea, forproduction of the anti-cancer drug taxol. Sun Hill, a subsidiary ofSam Yang Group in Seoul, owns 11 percent ofPHYTOpharmaceuticals.

Moser said ESCAgenetics' most advanced programs involvetechnology for improving production of date palms and potatoes. Headded that the company expects its "first real commercial revenues"this year from its date palm and potato products.

ESCAgenetics stock (AMEX:ESN) Thursday closed at 94 cents,down 6 cents. _

(c) 1997 American Health Consultants. All rights reserved.

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