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Atwell resigns as C3 to sell CellSpray, close US offices

PERTH-BASED burns treatment developer Clinical Cell Culture Ltd, or C3, announced it will close its American offices and sell its CellSpray technology after completing a strategic review of its options. C3 chief executive Bob Atwill will resign from the board after 10 months in the role, to be replaced by chief financial officer Andrew Cannon, who will also retain his financial responsibilities. In an announcement last week, the company said it would put all sales of the CellSpray solution on hold as it sought a suitable licensor, as well looking for partnership or corporate activity opportunities for its ReCell cell harvesting device. C3 plans to pursue major cuts in its operating costs, aiming to halve its current $800,000 monthly cash burn. It will also postpone future research and development, and implement a “significant” reduction in employee numbers. The company said the cost cutting would enable it to maximise commercial opportunities for ReCell, which it said was the action necessary to maximise its cash reserves and shareholder value. Meanwhile, C3 continues to seek approval from the US Food and Drug Administration, experiencing delays in patient recruitment for trials, which have in turn kept the company from announcing a definitive date for final approval. The company, co-founded by high-profile burns specialist Fiona Wood, launched the review after announcing an expected revenue downgrade from between $5 million and $7 million, to around $1.1 million in February. At the time, the company said its lower-than-expected sales and approval delays had kept it from the target, identifying the trends as being of concern to the company. C3 made a loss of $5.4 million in the first half of the 2006-2007 financial year. - Andrew Hobbs

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