Skip to main content
Premium Trial:

Request an Annual Quote

Helicos Lays off 14 Staffers; Scales Back Reagent Supplies, Service for Existing Customers

Premium

This story was originally published Sept. 22

Helicos BioSciences is laying off another 14 staff members during the current quarter in a further effort to reduce its operating costs, the company said in a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission last week.

The latest round of layoffs, following a staff cut this spring that left 40 employees (IS 5/18/2010), brings the company's headcount to at most 25. The company expects to incur about $175,000 in severance payments.

As of Sept. 20, Helicos had $2.3 million in cash and cash equivalents. It is trying to preserve its cash so it has more time to secure new funding or partnerships for its new diagnostic strategy, first revealed this spring.

However, the latest cost-cutting measures will impact the firm's ability to implement that strategy, "including delaying the validation and introduction of molecular diagnostic tests and development of its own CLIA-certified genetic testing laboratory," according to the filing.

In addition, Helicos said it is "significantly scaling back service support and reagent supply to its current installed base and is significantly curtailing collaborative activities with other parties." It has fewer than 15 sequencers installed outside its premises.

The company said it will require additional capital before the end of the year to continue its operations. It is pursuing "various financing alternatives," including public or private sales of equity, borrowings or bridge financings, and strategic partnerships.

The Scan

More Boosters for US

Following US Food and Drug Administration authorization, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has endorsed booster doses of the Moderna and Johnson & Johnson SARS-CoV-2 vaccines, the Washington Post writes.

From a Pig

A genetically modified pig kidney was transplanted into a human without triggering an immune response, Reuters reports.

For Privacy's Sake

Wired reports that more US states are passing genetic privacy laws.

Science Paper on How Poaching Drove Evolution in African Elephants

In Science this week: poaching has led to the rapid evolution of tuskless African elephants.