Helicos BioSciences Corp has committed to a consolidation and reorganization of its operations in order to reduce operating costs. This restructuring plan has resulted in the elimination of approximately 40 positions during the current fiscal quarter.

Approximately half of the Company’s 40 remaining employees are supported by NIH funding on research designed to further improve Helicos’ proprietary DNA and RNA single molecule sequencing technology.

“In our first quarter 2010 regulatory filings, we stated that we were considering alternatives to our existing long-term strategic focus, including the repositioning of the company in the genetic analysis markets” stated Ron Lowy, President and Chief Executive Officer.

“During this process, we have engaged a variety of consultants in the genomic research, services and diagnostics industries to evaluate available alternatives and, as a result of this evaluation, we believe that our proprietary technology is uniquely suited for the diagnostics markets. In particular, our technology’s ability to sequence DNA and RNA directly is well positioned for applications in molecular diagnostics, as it provides a direct path from patient specimen to result, and minimizes sample preparation costs. Furthermore, we believe the large opportunity for diagnostics sequencing applications is in its infancy, with relatively limited competition from major sequencing companies, which we believe are less capable for diagnostics applications.”

"One of the key growth drivers in the molecular diagnostics market has been the increased demand from both patients and physicians for assays that can inform decisions concerning personalized healthcare. We believe that Helicos’ technology is capable of meeting this need today. This was recently exemplified in a study published in the journal The Lancet, in which sequencing data generated on the Helicos Genetic Analysis System provided personalized and actionable information regarding an individual’s health and disease risk." added Lowy.

Going forward, Helicos plans to continue to support its current installed base with collaborative activities, reagent supply and service support while shifting a significant portion of its resources towards the development of its diagnostics strategy and related technology, applications and commercialization plans.

“We thank all of our employees both past and present for their contribution to the development of Helicos’ technology which, we believe, provides Helicos with unique advantages in the molecular diagnostics marketplace” said Lowy.

Source:  Helicos BioSciences