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Helicos Hires Bank to Assist with 'Strategic Alternatives'

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb News) – Helicos BioSciences today said that it has hired investment bank Thomas Weisel partners to assist the firm in evaluating and executing strategic alternatives, such as financings, joint ventures, or partnerships.

The firm also provided a round-up of second-quarter highlights, most of which was disclosed in its quarterly filing with the US Securities and Exchange Commission on Aug. 14.

Helicos had said in that SEC filing that as of Aug. 14 it had $5 million in remaining cash, enough to support its operations into the first quarter of 2010. It also stated that it is "actively engaged in discussions with potential strategic partners regarding various financing alternatives and is actively pursuing financing strategies, including equity or debt financings or other sources of funding, such as collaborations, licensing arrangements, joint ventures or partnerships."

In its statement today, Helicos said, "Such discussions have involved parties inside and outside of the genetic sequencing space."

Helicos has thus far placed six of its Helicos Genetic Analysis Systems at research centers in North America and an undisclosed biotech company. In addition, it is revising a contract with the St. Laurent Institute regarding an order placed by the institute. Stanford and the biotech firm are the only parties to outright purchase the Helicos system, while the others are reference sites for scientific and commercial evaluation, said Helicos.

The firm said that it expects all of the systems to provide revenue from reagent sales and that the system evaluations will lead to additional instrument sales.

In early trade on the Nasdaq, shares of Helicos were up 10 percent at $2.57.