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Helicos to Raise $9.4M in Private Placement

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb News) – Helicos BioSciences today said that it will raise net proceeds of roughly $9.4 million through the sale of its common stock and warrants to certain existing investors through a private placement.

The Cambridge, Mass.-based maker of single-molecule sequencing systems said that the investors include venture capital investors Atlas Ventures, Flagship Ventures, Highland Capital Partners, Versant Ventures, and the firm's CEO, Ron Lowy.

Helicos will sell up to 1,030,028 units for $2.57 per unit to the existing investors and 3,281,252 units to new investors for $2.24 per unit. The units purchased by the existing investors will consist of one share of the common stock and one warrant to purchase 0.662 shares of common stock at a per share exercise price equal to $2.61. The units purchased by the new investors will consist of one share of common stock and one warrant to purchase 0.50 shares of common stock at a per share exercise price of $2.61.

Helicos said that it plans to use the funds to support working capital requirements, sales, and general corporate purposes

"We believe that raising this level of funds is appropriate given the recent demand for the Helicos Single Molecule Sequencing System while we consider our strategic alternatives," Lowy said in a statement.

As of Aug. 14, Helicos had only $5 million in cash and cash equivalents. The firm said in its quarterly filing with the US Securities and Exchange Commission that day that it had sufficient funding 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."

The firm announced last week that it had sold four of its Helicos Genetic Analysis Systems to Riken Yokohama Institute Omics Science Center in Japan.

In early Wednesday trade on the Nasdaq, shares of Helicos were down 8 percent at $2.30.

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