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Helicos to Cut 14 More Positions; Lapidus Steps Down as Chairman

By a GenomeWeb staff reporter

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb News) – Helicos BioSciences said Tuesday after the close of the market that as part of its ongoing restructuring plan it will cut another 14 positions from the firm as it aims to reduce its operating costs.

In addition, it disclosed that Chairman Stanley Lapidus has stepped down from his post but will remain a member of the board of directors.

Helicos said in a filing with the US Securities and Exchange Commission that the cuts would take place during the current fiscal quarter, and that those being terminated were notified on Sept. 16. The firm said that restructuring expenses associated with the latest round of layoffs will be approximately $175,000, which covers employee severance benefits. It added that these restructuring costs will be reflected in its financial results beginning in the third quarter of fiscal-year 2010, and will continue into the first fiscal quarter of 2011.

The Cambridge, Mass.-based maker of a single-molecule sequencing platform announced the initial restructuring plans in May. Those plans had included cutting half its workforce, or 40 positions, from the firm as part of an effort to yield $6.8 million in annual savings. The cuts announced today are in addition to those 40 jobs.

Last month, Helicos reported a 170 percent increase in second-quarter revenues year over year, but also said that as of Aug. 11, its cash and cash equivalents had shrunk to $3.7 million.

Lapidus' resignation was effective Sept. 15, and the board elected Ivan Trifunovich to serve as a member of the company's board and simultaneously appointed him executive chairman of the board.

Trifunovich will serve as a Class I Director whose initial term will expire at the annual meeting of stockholders held in 2011. He has been providing consulting services to Helicos since mid-August. Trifunovich previously served as SVP of Third Wave Technologies, prior to that firm's acquisition by Hologic. He also had held management positions as Pharmacia and Johnson & Johnson.

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