Helicos BioSciences Corporation (NASDAQ: HLCS) today announced a publication entitled “Amplification-free digital gene expression profiling from minute cell quantities” appearing on line in Nature Methods co-authored by Dr. Daniel A. Haber and colleagues from Massachusetts General Hospital. The paper demonstrates the quantitative capabilities of Helicos’ single-molecule sequencing technology and its potential to reveal important genomic differences when minimal numbers of cells are available for analysis.
“This paper demonstrates significant potential clinical advantages of the single molecule-sequencing platform. The method can effectively utilize a very small number of cells for accurate molecular characterization, while being less prone to errors and representational biases seen with other sequencing techniques,” said Daniel A. Haber, M.D., Ph.D., Director of the Massachusetts General Hospital Cancer Center.
“Our research with Dr. Haber and his team supports our collective interest in utilizing our single-molecule sequencing technology to improve clinical care for patients,” commented Dr. Patrice Milos, Chief Scientific Officer at Helicos. “Helicos is assessing techniques described in this publication for their potential to advance molecular diagnostic assays for patients suffering from breast and ovarian cancer.”
In this study, single RNA molecules extracted from cell lysates of malignant and nonmalignant mouse and human cells were quantitated following direct capture, first strand cDNA synthesis and sequencing directly on the HeliScope Flow Cell surface. The experimental model systems demonstrate the ability to work with small cell numbers to accurately and reproducibly identify differentially expressed genes in closely related cell types.
The joint research also demonstrated the ability to apply the same methodology to RNA isolated from formal-fixed paraffin embedded (FFPE) tissues providing a potential new method for studying stored clinical specimens.
Additional information can be found in Helicos' Annual Report on Form 10-K for the fiscal year ended December 31, 2009, as filed with the SEC on April 15, 2010, together with its Quarterly Report on Form 10-Q for the first fiscal quarter 2010, as filed with the SEC on May 17, 2010. These reports include a discussion regarding the company's need to raise capital to pursue its new business of developing molecular diagnostic tests, disclosures regarding the company's operational results and liquidity position, and additional disclosures regarding other risks and uncertainties faced by Helicos.