Nuclea Biotechnologies to cut jobs, close Pittsfield lab
PITTSFIELD — One month after naming a new CEO, Nuclea Biotechnologies is eliminating positions in both Pittsfield and Cambridge, and closing a Pittsfield laboratory.
Nuclea officially announced both moves on Monday, stating that the lab closure and layoffs are part of a "major internal reorganization" that is designed to allow the company to focus "more fully" on the commercialization of its products.
"As part of the re-organization plan, the company is de-emphasizing some of its research and development efforts, and closing its CLIA laboratory in Pittsfield," Nuclea said in a statement. Nuclea's CLIA lab is at 48 Elm St.
Nuclea did not say how many positions in either company facility were being eliminated. Company officials in both Cambridge and Pittsfield did not return telephone calls on Monday seeking comment.
CLIA is an abbreviation for Clinical Laboratory Improvement Amendments. The CLIA program was established by Congress in 1988 amid public concerns about the quality of laboratory testing. It provides oversight of all clinical laboratory procedures in the United States.
The company maintains CLIA labs in both Cambridge and Pittsfield, according to its website. Both labs offer a full range of fully validated and reimbursable CLIA tests for proteins associated with cancer and other chronic diseases.
As of Monday, the reorganization plan had not affected Nuclea's computer laboratory at the Pittsfield Economic Development Authority's administration building on Kellogg Street, PEDA's executive director Corey Thurston said.
In December, Nuclea's board of directors replaced company founder and CEO Patrick J. Muraca with biotechnology industry veteran Donald E. Porgozelski, a former president of Genzyme Diagnostics. Muraca was appointed president and CEO of NanoDx, a development stage company in Albany, N.Y.. that is a spin-off of Nuclea.
When Porgozelski replaced Muraca, Nuclea stated that it was moving from a focus on research and development to focus more on the commercialization stage.
On Monday, Nuclea stated that senior management is in the process of developing a new strategy aimed at rapidly expanding sales of its existing products, and introducing new products and services in 2016.
"The company's commercial focus will remain on diagnostic and prognostic products for the management of cancer and metabolic disease, especially diabetes," according to the statement.
Nuclea is assembling a new leadership team to implement the "aggressive strategy,' the statement said. As part of the reorganization, Nuclea is "streamlining it operations," a procedure that caused the layoffs in both Pittsfield and Cambridge.
Founded in 2005, Nuclea is one of Berkshire County's few biotechnology firms. The company develops and commercializes unique Food and Drug Administration-approved diagnostic tests for prostate and breast cancer, diabetes and other metabolic syndromes.
Nuclea acquired its Cambridge facility in 2013 when it purchased a pharmaceutical company.
On Monday, Nuclea stated that its new plan will position the company to grow rapidly and to continue providing essential diagnostics kits and services for the management of patients in oncology and diabetes.
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