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SQI Diagnostics Further Cuts Head Count as Possible Shutdown Looms

NEW YORK – Toronto-based diagnostics firm SQI Diagnostics said on Tuesday it is laying off Chief Executive Andrew Morris and CSO Eric Brouwer to reduce the company's expenses.

The move comes amid concerns about SQI's ability to remain financially operational as it seeks to reduce its number of employees to two full-time employees from 20. In March the company cut its head count from 44 full-time employees.

In a statement, SQI said that for the three months ended March 31, it had a net loss of C$3.5 million, and as of the end of March it had a working deficit of C$9.9 million. Its ability to continue operations is a "going concern" and will depend on whether it can raise additional capital through equity and/or debt financings and become profitable. However, the company said it has received no viable term sheets from potential financing sources, and management does not believe the firm can continue operations beyond June 15 if it does not raise additional equity and/or debt capital, putting it at risk of going out of business or having to file for bankruptcy.

Morris and Brouwer have advised SQI's board that they will resign as directors effective June 5 but will continue to advise the company during the next few weeks as needed. Morlan Reddock will remain with the company as its CFO while it seeks to monetize the firm's existing intellectual property and equipment and search for sources of new funding, SQI said.

Among the tests it offers is the Rapid Acute Lung Injury Diagnostic IL-6 Severity Triage Test for the quantitative measurement of interleukin 6 in human plasma to help identify severe inflammatory responses in adult patients with confirmed COVID-19 illness. The firm is also developing the TORdx Lung Test to assess the health of donor lungs.