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QLT Inc lays off over 40% of employees as company refocuses on oral synthetic retinoid product.

In its second restructuring of FY2012, QLT Inc., (NASDAQ: QLTI) a Canadian based biotechnology company headquartered in Vancouver, has announced that it is to reduce headcount by a further 42%. The lay-offs follow the sale of its Visudyne verteporfin product to Valeant Therapeutics with the majority of the employees scheduled to depart in the first half of 2013. Commenting on the announcement, OLT’s chairman, Jason M. Aryeh, stated, “QLT’s remaining 38 employees are focused on the clinical development of our very promising Synthetic Oral Retinoid program, while the Board continues to acutely focus on delivering value to shareholders”. The company was originally founded in 1981 by researchers at the University of British Coumbia and, despite considerable success, has gone through significant shareholder turmoil in recent years.