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Helicos Delays Q4, FY2010 Filing; Reviewing Potential Asset Impairment

By a GenomeWeb staff reporter

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb News) – Helicos BioSciences has notified the US Securities and Exchange Commission that it will be late filing its fourth-quarter and full-year 2009 results because it could not complete the forms on time without "unreasonable effort or expense."

The Cambridge, Mass.-based single molecule sequencing technologies firm said that it is reviewing the application of accounting principles related to the "potential impairment of certain long-lived assets and the recoverability of certain current assets, primarily inventory, and was unable to finish developing other narrative information in order to complete its Form 10-K" by the end of the first quarter.

Helicos said that the potential asset impairment charge could be material to its results or operations and financial position.

In addition, the firm said that it is evaluating whether, as of the end of 2009, "substantial doubt exists" over its ability to continue as a going concern.

Helicos was the first firm to commercially market a single-molecule sequencing system. However, in the roughly two years since its launch, the firm has only placed around 14 of the instruments, according to an industry analyst. The firm has faced increasing competition in the DNA sequencing market from current rivals, such as Illumina, Life Technologies, and Roche, and impending competitors, including Pacific Biosciences, Ion Torrent, and sequencing services firm Complete Genomics.

Helicos had reported third-quarter revenues of $1.1 million in early November. But the firm also noted at that time that it held cash and cash equivalents of $8.4 million.

In early Thursday trade on the Nasdaq, shares of Helicos were down 5 percent at $.75.