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Helicos Licenses Patents to Intelligent Bio-Systems for $1.6M

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb News) – Helicos has outlicensed seven of its patents related to single molecule sequencing technology to Intelligent Bio-Systems for $1.6 million, according to documents filed by Helicos this week with the US Securities and Exchange Commission.

Helicos licensed on a non-exclusive basis US Patent Nos. 6,309,836, 6,639,088, 7,276,720, 7,279,563, 7,593,109, 7,948,625, and 8,094,312, related to nucleotide composition and light systems for analyzing nucleic acid samples. Helicos will maintain control over the enforcement of the patents.

Additionally, as part of an agreement Helicos has with Atlas Venture and Flagship Ventures, those firms are entitled to 60 percent of the net proceeds of the sale, or $900,000.

Following the sale, Helicos had $2.2 million in cash and cash equivalents but still requires "substantial additional funding in order to continue our operations," it said.

The company said in the filing that it is seeking additional funding, exploring options for the monetization of its patents, as well as considering selling all or a substantial portion of its assets. "If we are unable to successfully raise additional capital, we may have to cease operations and/or seek bankruptcy protection," it said.

Helicos recently settled patent infringement suits with Pacific Biosciences and Life Technologies in a dispute that began in 2010 and also includes Illumina as a defendant.

The settlement with PacBio included a licensing deal for an undisclosed amount, while Helicos simply dropped its suit against Life Tech. As reported by sister publication In Sequence, the dispute with Life Tech involved Life Tech's single molecule sequencing technology, Starlight, which it no longer plans to commercialize. Helicos is still pursuing its case against Illumina.

Meanwhile, Illumina is locked in IP litigation with IBS and its new parent company, Qiagen.