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Helicos Cuts Q3 Net Loss by Almost 40 Percent; Rules out Potential Sale of Company

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb News) – Helicos Biosciences said yesterday that it has for the time being ruled out a potential sale of the company in light of expected revenues through the first quarter of 2010.

In September, Helicos announced that it had hired investment bank Thomas Weisel Partners "to assist the company with its evaluation and execution of strategic alternatives" such as financings, joint ventures, or partnerships.

In a statement yesterday following the release of its third-quarter financial results, Helicos said that based on its "improving standalone prospects and its current market valuation, the board of directors has decided to disengage from discussions involving a potential sale of the company at the current time."

Helicos said in its third quarter 10-Q filing that, as previously reported, it had raised approximately $9.4 million in last quarter through a private placement of shares of its common stock and warrants to new and existing investors.

The company also reported total Q3 revenues of $1.1 million – most of which was derived from product sales – after posting no revenue in the same quarter last year.

Helicos also cut its net loss by 39 percent to about $6.9 million from $11.5 million in the year-ago period.

Helicos said in its filing that as of September 30 and November 9 it had $11.5 million and $8.4 million, respectively, in cash and cash equivalents.

In addition, the company said that it expects to receive approximately $5 million in cash receipts from customers during the fourth quarter of 2009 and the first quarter of 2010, and believes that its existing cash and cash equivalents and receipts from customers on sales of products will be sufficient to fund its operations through the first quarter of 2010.

Helicos added that it continues to work with TWP as a financial advisor in connection with its long-term financing strategy.

In addition, the company said yesterday that it planned to reduce the cost of goods for the Helicos Genetic Analysis System.

"As we improve our cost of goods through these initiatives in the near-term and through the next twelve months, we will have the flexibility to address the initial cost of the platform for our customers," CEO Ron Lowy said in a statement.

"We also plan on introducing a series of alternative reagent kits for the Helicos system that are designed to provide customer flexibility, allow smaller numbers of samples and reducing the current runtime of the equipment by up to 70 percent," Lowy added.

Helicos said that it plans to start introducing these kits during the first half of 2010 for both its current and future installed base.