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Helicos' Q3 Revenues Drop 43 Percent

By a GenomeWeb staff reporter

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb News) – Helicos BioSciences today reported a 43 percent drop in its third quarter revenues.

In a document filed with the US Securities and Exchange Commission, the sequencing technology and diagnostics firm reported that for the three months ended Sept. 30, it recorded $636,000 in revenues, down from $1.1 million in the year-ago period. Product revenues plummeted to $214,000 from $1.1 million, an 81 percent drop-off. Grant revenues rose to $422,000 from $13,000 a year ago.

Based in Cambridge, Mass., Helicos is in the midst of a restructuring that includes a change in its focus from technology development to developing diagnostic tests based on its Heliscope Single Molecule Sequencer. In its SEC filing, it said that it is making progress on developing two tests. One is for the detection of a gene mutation that may be indicative of an increased risk of women developing hereditary breast or ovarian cancer. The second test is a non-invasive prenatal diagnostic test.

However, it said that it has met substantial resistance from investors, which has limited its commercial activity for 2010.

Helicos reported $1.9 million in cash and cash equivalents as of Sept. 30. As of Nov. 10, that figure had further receded to $1.8 million, it said. It ended 2009 with $15.9 million.

It also said in its filing that due to a lack of funding, the company will no longer pursue plans to create its own CLIA laboratory.

Earlier this week, the company was delisted from Nasdaq.

However, in a separate SEC filing today, Helicos said that it has received an initial bridge loan of $333,333 from two funds as part of a deal that could give the company a total of $4 million in bridge financing.

The firm's net loss for the third quarter rose 28 percent to $8.9 million from $6.9 million, while its loss per share was unchanged year over year at $0.11.

Helicos' R&D spending rose to $4.9 million, a 41 percent increase from $3.5 million a year ago, while SG&A costs dropped 25 percent to $2.3 million from $3.5 million during the third quarter of 2009.

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