VANCOUVER, Jan. 18 /CNW/ - QLT Inc. (NASDAQ: QLTI; TSX: QLT) today
announced the Company has implemented a reduction in its overall headcount
affecting approximately 115 people (or approximately 45%) at its Vancouver
headquarters and its U.S. subsidiaries, including members of its management
The reduction in force is the first initiative undertaken by the Company
as part of its strategic restructuring plan announced on January 16, 2008
pursuant to which the Company plans to focus its ongoing business primarily on
its Visudyne(R) franchise and its clinical development programs related to its
punctal plug delivery technology and its photodynamic therapy dermatology
technology. Further reductions in force are expected in 2008 as the Company's
assets are divested under the restructuring.
As part of this restructuring initiative Alain Curaudeau will be
departing from his role at QLT as Senior Vice President, Portfolio & Project
Management and Acting Senior Vice President, Research and Development,
together with several members of senior management. Coincident with the
restructuring Dr. Julia Levy, who co-founded QLT in 1981, has advised the
Company she is retiring from her position as Executive Chair, Scientific
Advisory Board and all other formal QLT activities.
"It is extremely difficult to see so many dedicated and talented
individuals leaving QLT. I want to thank all of these people for their
contributions to our successes and perseverance through challenging periods of
time. On behalf of the entire company, I also want to thank Julia Levy for her
leadership and inspiring presence at QLT over the past twenty-seven years,"
said Bob Butchofsky, President and Chief Executive Officer.
A restructuring charge of approximately $7.5 million will be recorded in
For additional information on QLT's strategic restructuring initiatives
please refer to the press release issued January 16, 2008 which is available
QLT Inc. is a global biopharmaceutical company dedicated to the
discovery, development and commercialization of innovative therapies. Our
research and development efforts are focused on pharmaceutical products in the
fields of ophthalmology and dermatology. In addition, we utilize three unique
technology platforms, photodynamic therapy, Atrigel(R) and punctal plugs with
drugs, to create products such as Visudyne(R) and Eligard(R) and future
product opportunities. For more information, visit our web site at
Atrigel is a registered trademark of QLT USA, Inc.
Visudyne is a registered trademark of Novartis AG.
Eligard is a registered trademark of Sanofi-aventis.
QLT Inc. is listed on the NASDAQ Stock Market under the trading symbol
"QLTI" and on The Toronto Stock Exchange under the trading symbol "QLT."
Certain statements in this press release that are not historical facts
constitute "forward-looking statements" of QLT within the meaning of the
Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995 and constitute
"forward-looking information" within the meaning of applicable Canadian
securities laws. Such statements include, but are not limited to: our plans to
divest certain core and non-core assets described in the press release; our
intention to retain adequate proceeds of asset sales to repay our outstanding
convertible debt; our future business plans and strategy focusing on our
Visudyne franchise and the clinical programs relating to Visudyne, our punctal
plug drug delivery technology and our photodynamic therapy dermatology
technology; and our expectations we will achieve certain milestones in these
clinical studies in 2008. Forward-looking statements are predictions only
which involve known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors that
may cause actual results to be materially different from those expressed in
such statements. Factors that could cause actual events or results to differ
materially include, but are not limited to: the Company's ability to
successfully complete the sale of one or more of the assets or operations at
an acceptable price and the time period necessary to complete such sales are
uncertain; fluctuations in the real estate market; uncertainties relating to
the timing and results of the clinical development and commercialization of
our products and technologies (including Visudyne, our punctal plug technology
and our photodynamic therapy dermatology technology) and the associated costs
of these programs; the timing, expense and uncertainty associated with the
regulatory approval process for products; and other factors, including those
described in detail in QLT's Annual Report on Form 10-K, quarterly reports on
Form 10-Q and other filings with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission
and Canadian securities regulatory authorities. Forward-looking statements are
based on the current expectations of QLT and QLT does not assume any
obligation to update such information to reflect later events or developments
except as required by law.
For further information:
For further information: QLT Inc.: Vancouver, Canada, Therese Hayes,
Telephone: (604) 707-7000 or 1-800-663-5486, Fax: (604) 707-7001