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Helicos Sells Sequencer to Undisclosed Biotech Firm


This story has been updated from a previous version to include additional information from a company spokesperson.

Helicos BioSciences said today that it has sold a Helicos Genetic Analysis System to "an undisclosed biotechnology company in the Northeast."

To date, Helicos has announced instrument placements or orders at Stanford University, the Broad Institute, the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, and the University of Maryland. The new order would be the first that it has disclosed for a commercial entity.

Ron Lowy, Helicos CEO, said in a statement that the sale is "an important milestone in our development as a commercial organization."

The company booked its first revenue from the sale of the platform during the first quarter of this year, when it posted about $1.2 million in total revenue, of which $829,000 came from the sale of an instrument that it shipped in 2008 (see In Sequence 5/19/09).

When the company announced its first-quarter financial results in May, it said that it had received commitments for two more instrument placements from undisclosed sites that would have brought its total number of installments to five.

Helicos did not name the customer sites, but had previously disclosed an order for the University of Maryland and would have represented its fourth instrument placement.

A company spokesperson told In Sequence that the order announced this week was in addition to the two commitments disclosed in the first-quarter call.

Earlier this year, the company reduced the list price of the instrument to $999,000 from $1.35 million (see In Sequence 1/20/09).

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