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Helicos Gets Warning Letter from Nasdaq

By a GenomeWeb staff reporter

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb News) – Helicos BioSciences disclosed after the close of market on Thursday that it has received a letter from Nasdaq warning the company that its stock could be delisted from the Nasdaq Global Market for not meeting minimum listing requirements.

In a document filed with the US Securities and Exchange Commission, the company said that it received the letter on June 28 saying its market capitalization had fallen below $50 million for 30 consecutive business days and that the company otherwise did not satisfy Nasdaq's listing requirements. As a result, Helicos will have 180 calendar days, or until Dec. 27, to regain compliance or risk being delisted.

As of the end of business day on July 1, Helicos had a market cap of almost $36 million.

If Helicos' market cap is at least $50 million for 10 consecutive business days before its Dec. 27 deadline, the company will have regained compliance "and the matter will be closed," Helicos' said in its document.

If Helicos' market cap fails to meet the $50 million listing requirement, Nasdaq would move to delist the company's stock. At that time, Helicos may appeal the delisting determination to a Nasdaq Listings Qualifications Panel. Alternatively, Helicos may move its stock to the Nasdaq Capital Market, which has a $35 million minimum market cap requirement.

In May Helicos announced its first-quarter revenues for 2010 had dropped by half compared to the year-ago figure. As a result, the company repositioned its business, which included laying off 40 employees, or half, of its workforce.

The repositioning also included a shift toward the molecular diagnostic market, and last week, it announced the launch of its diagnostics business and plans to launch its first sequencing-based test in the first quarter of 2011.