Update: drkoop.com Lays Off One-Third of Its Workforce

Updated from 10:40 a.m. EDT

A week after receiving a life-saving cash infusion, online health information provider drkoop.com ( KOOP) said Wednesday that it planned to cut an additional 33% of its already anemic workforce.

The layoffs, which will affect 42 full-time and part-time workers, will trim the workforce to 79 employees. An additional 10 positions will be eliminated through attrition.

This is the second round of major job cuts this year aimed at halting the ailing company's financial hemorrhaging. The company laid off 35% of its staff in May.

As of June 30, Austin, Texas-based drkoop.com had just $2 million in cash. But just after the company announced that funds had nearly run out, the company got a $27.5 million injection of cash last week from a group of investors that includes Prime Ventures, JF Shea Ventures, Cramer-Rosenthal-McGlynn and RMC Capital.

The investors purchased preferred shares, which are convertible into drkoop.com stock based on a price of 35 cents a share. Altogether, the group got a total of 78.6 million shares at a steep discount.

drkoop.com, which was co-founded by former U.S. Surgeon General C. Everett Koop, has pledged in return to continue implementing aggressive cost-cutting measures. It has reworked a content-sharing agreement with America Online ( AOL), and has made substantial cuts in its workforce and advertising budget.

The company was able to trim cash expenses from operations to $12.8 million in the second quarter, down nearly one-third from $18.6 million in the previous quarter. drkoop.com said it hopes to cut expenses even further to about $6.5 million in the current quarter, which ends Sept. 30.

"We said from the beginning that we were going to run this company like a real business," said newly appointed president Ed Cespedes, in a statement. "There are real people behind these layoffs and these were not easy decisions."

Still, he added that he was ready to move forward with plans to rebuild the company and increase its share value.

After climbing to $19.88 in late December, the stock plunged to 65.6 cents earlier this month. Shares of drkoop.com settled up 16 cents, or 13%, at $1.34.

Company officials were unavailable for comment Wednesday morning.

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