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Helicos to Raise $18.6M from Private Financing

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb News) – Helicos BioSciences today said that it has signed a definitive agreement with certain investors to raise gross proceeds of around $18.6 million through a private placement of the firm’s shares.
The Cambridge, Mass.-based sequencing technology firm said that net proceeds from the offering will be roughly $17.9 million, which it intends to use for working capital and general corporate purposes.
Under terms of the placement, Helicos agreed to sell approximately 42.8 million units for $.435 per unit. Each unit consists of one common share and one warrant to purchase .6 of a share of common stock at an exercise price of $.45 per share.
The warrants have a five-year term and are exercisable immediately following closing of the transaction, which is expected to occur on or around Dec. 23.
Helicos said that the placement involved certain unnamed institutional investors and previous investors in the firm, including Flagship Ventures, Atlas Venture, Highland Capital, and Versant Ventures.
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.
During the firm’s third-quarter conference call in early November, Helicos CFO Stephen Hall said that the firm’s cash-burn rate is around $2.5 million per month, or $7.5 million for the balance of the year. He said at the time that the firm was “actively reviewing fundraising opportunities,” but had declined to provide further details.
Earlier this week, Helicos disclosed that it is preparing to place a Helicos Genetic Analysis System at the Broad Institute. The company said that it is providing the system to the Broad at no cost and that it expects to install it in early 2009. The firm has also placed sequencers at Stanford University and Expression Analysis, but it has not disclosed financial terms for either of those agreements.
It also recently announced that it plans to reduce its workforce by approximately 30 percent in a bid to cut costs.