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Helicos BioSciences Corporation (OTCQB: HLCS.PK) announced today that it has amended its existing license with Arizona Technology Enterprises (AzTE) to include all activities that fall within the scope of, or constitute the practice of, the licensed patents, and gives Helicos full and unencumbered rights to the associated intellectual property. The license, which gives Helicos rights to several patents covering sequencing-by-synthesis methods, now expressly includes detection methods that do not rely on optically-labeled nucleotides.
“The expanded license is another example of Helicos’s successful strategy of systematically expanding its IP portfolio. The newly acquired rights will be an important asset in our licensing and IP monetization efforts that include the active litigation announced previously.” stated Dr. Ivan Trifunovich, President and CEO of Helicos. “In addition to the expanded license, Helicos continues to increase the depth and breadth of company’s patent estate through newly issued patents and a large number of important patent applications in process. As we witness the rapid expansion of next generation sequencing applications covered by our patents in the research and molecular diagnostic (MDx) fields, we intend to maximize the return to our stakeholders through a licensing program and IP enforcement mechanisms.” continued Dr. Trifunovich.
In 2011, 8 Helicos’s patents were issued or allowed, and more than a dozen patent applications were filed. For example, U.S. patent No. 7,875,440 (currently the subject of an inter parties reexamination by the USPTO based upon the request of Life Technologies Corporation), entitled “Method of determining the nucleotide sequence of oligonucleotides and DNA molecules”, which derives from an existing foundational invention with a very early priority date of May 1998, and U.S. patent No. 7,897,345 entitled “Short Cycle Methods for Sequencing Polynucleotides”. Both patents contain very broad claims that cover the very core chemistry of most major next generation sequencing platforms. Another example is U.S. patent 7,948,625, titled “Apparatus and Methods for Analyzing Samples”, which covers instrument claims on a lighting system for detecting samples that includes 2 light sources.