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Helicos Q3 Revenues Rise 14 Percent, but Raises Questions About its Survival Past December

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb News) – Helicos BioSciences said after the close of the market on Monday that revenues during the third quarter rose 14 percent year over year but cautioned that absent a cash infusion it could be forced to close its doors by the end of the year.

The Cambridge, Mass.-based firm took in $725,000 in revenues for the third quarter ended Sept. 30, compared to $636,000 a year ago. Product revenues dipped 84 percent to $116,000 from $214,000 a year ago and grant revenues fell 88 percent to $224,000 from $422,000, but the company recorded $385,000 in service revenues for the third quarter, compared to none a year ago.

R&D expenses dropped 10-fold to $490,000 from $4.9 million a year ago, while SG&A dropped to $785,000 from $2.3 million.

Net loss for the period shrank to $798,000, or $.01 per share, from $8.9 million, or $.11 per share, a year ago.

In a document filed with the US Securities and Exchange Commission, though, Helicos said that regardless of recent reductions in workforce and costs, it "does not have sufficient funds to pursue its business priorities." In an effort to reduce overhead, the firm has decreased the number of employees to 10 and in August, it moved into smaller spaces.

Last November, the company entered into a bridge loan facility that could provide it up to $4 million in bridge financing. Today, it said that it had drawn $666,667 against the committed facility and $1.3 million remains available. Another $2 million in uncommitted financing remains from the bridge debt financing facility, and other funding sources not yet identified may also exist.

However, "there can be no assurance that any such funding will be available on reasonable terms, if at all," Helicos said. "As a result, the company is no longer able to remain current in making payments to trade vendors and other unsecured creditors when such payments are due and, despite the restructuring of its senior debt, this inability to remain current increases the likelihood that the lenders could declare a default under the senior debt in the near-term, including with regard to solvency."

It further added that the company "will require significant additional capital by December 2011 to continue its operations beyond the existing $2,000,000 committed portion of the Bridge Debt."

Helicos ended the quarter with $2.5 million in cash and cash equivalents. Including the $1.3 million available from its bridge debt facility, Helicos has about $1.6 million in total available resources as of Nov. 1, it said, and owes about $250,000 in monthly principal payments for each of December 2011 and January 2012, as well as a final $800,000 payment on the senior debt due in January.

"If the Company is unable to execute its operations according to its plans or to obtain additional financing, the Company may be forced to cease operations," Helicos said in its SEC filing.

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