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Helicos to Lay Off 30 Percent of Workforce to Cut Costs; Retracts Order Guidance

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb News) - Helicos BioSciences plans to reduce its workforce by approximately 30 percent in a bid to cut costs, the company disclosed today in a filing with the US Securities and Exchange Commission.
 
In the filing, Helicos said that the layoffs, which will occur in the current quarter, are intended to reduce its operating costs and “direct its resources to continue advancing towards [its] near term goals.”
 
The company expects to incur approximately $450,000 in severance and termination costs in the fourth quarter of 2008 as a result of the restructuring.
 
Helicos said that it has also decided to stop providing forward-looking guidance for its financial results and system orders. As a result, the company said in the filing, “we retract all previous guidance, including with respect to order guidance for 2008 through the second quarter of 2009.”
 
In September, Helicos anticipated a total of between five and 10 orders for its HeliScope instrument by the end of this year and a total of 15 to 30 orders by mid-2009, but the company warned in its third-quarter earnings call last month that orders would likely be at the low end of that guidance.
 
Helicos said today that it may provide forward-looking guidance again “when there is more visibility to the market uptake rate for our products.”
 
As of Sept. 30, Helicos had $12.3 million in unrestricted cash, $8.9 million in working capital, and $10.4 million in restricted cash.
 
Earlier this week, Helicos said that its board of directors had appointed Ronald Lowy as CEO, replacing Stephen Lombardi, who will retain the position of president and will remain on the board.
 

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