VANCOUVER — Canadian biotechnology company QLT Inc. is cutting its workforce by two-thirds, leaving it with 68 employees after a downsizing brought in by new leadership following a proxy battle waged by some of its shareholders.Among those leaving is Robert Bulchofsky, who has been QLT’s president and chief executive. He has agreed to stay until July 31 as part of the transition.The Vancouver-based company had been one of Canada’s most successful biotechnology firms based on its treatment for age-related blindness.But sales of Visudyne have fallen and QLT has struggled in recent years to find another commercially successful product.As a result, QLT’s new chairman says the company is cutting 146 of its 214 remaining jobs.He says the downsizing will reduce QLT’s annual operating expenses by $45-million to $50-million in 2013. The downsizing will cost about $14-million to $17-million, mostly for severance and change-of-control payments.QLT’s new board of directors has also authorized a payout of $100 million to its shareholders in a process known as a return of capital.“To understand why the Board is taking this new direction, it is critical to understand why it was elected and how QLT’s previous strategic plan could have put the company in a precarious financial position,” QLT chairman Jason Aryeh said in a letter to shareholders publishes Monday.“Our board was elected by concerned and frustrated shareholders, disquieted that the company’s spending and headcount seemed to be inappropriate given the nature of its assets, size and focus.”Aryeh said the new board has done a thorough analysis and determined that the shareholders concerns were justified.Among other things, QLT will become more focused — concentrating its development activities on a synthetic oral retinoid.It has also hired Wall Street investment bank Goldman Sachs to explore the spinout or sale of its punctal plug delivery system and to determine whether to keep or divest its Visudyne business.
Others tweeted photographs of their ideal “grab bags”, containing items such as gin, prosecco and the family pet. Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily Front Page newsletter and new audio briefings. Police advice for British people to keep an emergency “grab bag” at home has been mocked online after officials were accused of “scaremongering”.Multiple police Twitter accounts posted pictures of “grab bags” on Sunday as part of a safety awareness campaign running throughout September.In such bags, British people are advised to keep an “emergency plan”, a whistle, food and water, toiletries, a radio and a a torch as well as other apparently essential items.The Police Scotland account wrote: “Emergencies can happen at any time and it’s recommended to have a #GrabBag ready containing essential items including medication, copies of important documents, food/water, torch, radio and other personal items.”Many mocked this decision and asked what “emergency situation” was likely to occur.Writer Amanda tweeted: “I think if police stations up and down the country are going to start simultaneously suggesting we pack a #GrabBag they should at least hint as to why. A zombie apocalypse is going to need a very different packing strategy to an AI takeover, for example”.Another Twitter user, Meriel Myers, added: “Just packing my #GrabBag and so far I have Jaffa Cakes, Gin, Phone charger, Pot noodle, Colouring book and a Pac a Mac! No one can tell me I’m not prepared!” Well I’m not taking any chances, that’s my #GrabBag packed & ready to go pic.twitter.com/eGELNtBjn4— Graham Love (@GLove39) September 8, 2019 However, many accused the police accounts of scaremongering. One Twitter critic said: “What’s all this scaremongering #GrabBag b——-?”You may as well go the whole hog: ‘A nuclear attack can happen at any time. Make sure you have a fallout shelter ready…’.” After hundreds of people criticised the campaign, organised by a group called 30 Ways 30 Days which comprises local authorities and police, it was forced to clarify the grab bag had nothing to do with Brexit.Prepared in Essex, a group which is part of the campaign, said: “The campaign has no links to Brexit and there isn’t anything that you haven’t be told. It is just coincidence that these issues have collided on Twitter and some people have assumed that they are linked. The group added: “There was no intention for this to be seen as scaremongering.”A Police Scotland spokesperson said: “The messaging is part of a general resilience awareness campaign that runs each year during September which emergency services and partners across Britain are taking part in.” Got my grab bag ready for going down to London. pic.twitter.com/fzFQTHJVgY— Scott Reid 🔍 (@scottreid1980) September 8, 2019