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Helicos Delays 2009 Earnings Report, Citing Potential Asset Impairment, Doubt Over Ability to Continue

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This article was originally published April 1.

Helicos BioSciences said this week that it will file its 2009 annual earnings report late, citing that it has not yet determined potential asset impairment charges that could be material to its results, and whether substantial doubt exists over its ability to continue its business.

The company now plans to file its 2009 earnings report on or before April 15.

In a document filed with the US Securities and Exchange Commission yesterday, Helicos said it was unable to file its report for the year ended Dec. 31, 2009, by the March 31 deadline "without unreasonable effort or expense" because it is still reviewing "the application of accounting principles relating to the potential impairment of certain long lived assets and the recoverability of certain current assets, primarily inventory."

The company also said it was "unable to finish developing other narrative information" in order to complete the filing on time. The potential asset impairment charges, it said, could be material to its operations and financial position.

In addition, Helicos said it is currently evaluating whether "substantial doubt exists over the company's ability to continue as a going concern."

As of early November 2009, Helicos had $8.4 million in cash and cash equivalents and expected approximately $5 million in receipts from instrument and reagent sales during the fourth quarter of 2009 and the first quarter of 2010. These funds would have allowed it to operate through the first quarter of this year, the company estimated at the time (see In Sequence 11/9/2009).

Since then, Helicos has announced the sale of sequencing instruments to the Leiden University Medical Center in the Netherlands, the Turku Centre for Biotechnology in Finland, and the St. Laurent Institute, and has signed an agreement with Stanford University to install a second Helicos Genetic Analysis System there.

Last fall, the company said in an SEC filing that it had extended the lease for its facilities until the end of March 2010 (see In Sequence 10/20/2009).

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