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DermTech Files for Bankruptcy, Lays off 20 Percent of Workforce

NEW YORK – Skin cancer diagnostic firm DermTech announced Tuesday that it has filed for Chapter 11 protection in the US Bankruptcy Court for the District of Delaware. 

The filing is a continuation of DermTech's strategic alternatives review process, the company said in a statement. The firm intends to continue its laboratory operations and processing orders for its DermTech Melanoma Test while simultaneously attempting to sell substantially all of its assets. 

"Through the bankruptcy process, the company intends to safeguard the interest of stakeholders and maximize the value of its assets," DermTech noted. 

According to the petition, San Diego-based DermTech has both estimated assets and estimated liabilities between $50 million and $100 million. 

DermTech's advisers for its bankruptcy filing are Wilson, Sonsini, Goodrich & Rosati, AlixPartners, and TD Cowen. 

In addition to the bankruptcy filing, DermTech laid off approximately 15 employees, or 20 percent of its workforce, last week to reduce expenses associated with current operations in an effort to preserve its cash. The firm expects to incur about $600,000 in connection with the layoffs, according to a filing with the US Securities and Exchange Commission. Additional layoffs may occur in the future, it noted. 

In April, the firm announced it would lay off approximately 100 employees, or about 56 percent of its workforce, as part of a restructuring to reduce operating expenses. The company also said it would explore potential strategic alternatives, including an acquisition, merger, or reverse merger. 

The same month, DermTech received a delisting notice from the Nasdaq because its common stock bid price had closed below the required minimum of $1.00 per share for the last 30 consecutive business days. The company has until Oct. 14 to regain compliance.