Helicos BioSciences Corporation (NASDAQ: HLCS) today announced a publication demonstrating the detection and quantification of novel small RNA molecules using Helicos’ single-molecule sequencing technology. These data confirm a long-held, unproven hypothesis that mammalian cells are capable of synthesizing RNA by copying RNA molecules directly. The findings are presented in a paper, entitled “New class of gene-termini-associated human RNAs suggests a novel RNA copying mechanism,” by Kapranov, et al, available today in Nature. “For the first time, we have evidence to support the hypothesis that human cells have the widespread ability to copy RNA as well as DNA,” said Bino John, Ph.D., assistant professor of computational biology, University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine. “These findings emphasize the complexity of human RNA populations and suggest the important role for single molecule-sequencing for accurate and comprehensive genetic profiling.” Today’s Nature publication presents joint research findings, utilizing Helicos’ proprietary true Single Molecule Sequencing (tSMS™) technology to profile small RNAs from human cells and tissues. The study uncovered several new classes of RNAs that are produced by uncharacterized RNA copying mechanisms. Such RNA copying mechanisms have been well documented in plants and simple organisms, but this work provides the first supporting evidence for such a mechanism in human cells. “This class of non-coding RNA molecules has been historically overlooked because available sequencing platforms are often unable to provide accurate detection and quantification,” commented Dr. Patrice Milos, Chief Scientific Officer at Helicos. “This study supports our belief that Helicos’ tSMS technology provides the platform capability to identify and quantitate these RNAs and reinforces the potential clinical advantages of our single molecule-sequencing platform.” The Nature publication (Vol. 466, No. 7306) was co-authored by Drs. Bino John, A. Paula Monaghan and Sang Woo Kim, of the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine; Dr. Sylvain Foissac from Integromics, Inc.; Drs. Stylianos Antonarakis and Christelle Borel of the University of Geneva Medical School and Drs. Philipp Kapranov, Doron Lipson, Fatih Ozsolak, Chris Hart, Steve Roels and Patrice Milos of Helicos BioSciences Corporation.
The work cited in this paper was funded by the American Cancer Society, the National Institutes of Health, the Swiss National Science Foundation, Integromics, Inc., and Helicos BioSciences Corporation.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. About Helicos BioSciences: Helicos BioSciences is focused on innovative genetic analysis technologies for the development and marketing of molecular diagnostic tests. Helicos' proprietary True Single Molecule Sequencing (tSMS™) technology allows the direct measurement of natural DNA without the confounding steps of sample manipulation or nucleic acid amplification. Helicos is committed to commercializing new options for patients and physicians seeking reliable, cost-efficient molecular diagnostic results. For more information, please visit www.helicosbio.com. Forward Looking Statements: Certain statements made in this press release that are not based on historical information are forward-looking statements which are made pursuant to the safe harbor provisions of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. This press release contains express or implied forward-looking statements relating to, among other things, the prospective value of the unique attributes of single molecule sequencing in the diagnostics markets and the potential clinical advantages of the single molecule-sequencing platform, Helicos' belief that its technology is capable of meeting needs in the diagnostics markets in the near term, Helicos' beliefs regarding its ability to introduce successful diagnostic sequencing applications utilizing Helicos technology, Helicos' beliefs regarding competition from other companies in the diagnostics market, and management's plans, objectives and strategies. These statements are neither promises nor guarantees, but are subject to a variety of risks and uncertainties, many of which are beyond Helicos' control, which could cause actual results to differ materially from those contemplated in these forward-looking statements. In particular, the risks and uncertainties include, among other things: our ability to successfully implement a strategic shift to focus the business on the diagnostics markets utilizing the HeliScope Sequencer; a third party suing us for infringement of intellectual property rights; the costs of, and potential for an adverse outcome from, any intellectual property litigation; our history of operating losses and ability to achieve profitability; our ability to sustain our technology and know-how; competition; changing technology and customer requirements; our ability to operate in an emerging market; market acceptance of our technology; the length of our sales and implementation cycles in the diagnostics markets; failure of our technology and products; ethical, legal and social concerns surrounding the use of genetic information; our ability to retain our remaining personnel following our May 2010 reduction in force and our ability to hire additional skilled personnel required to pursue our diagnostics strategy; our ability to manage our growth while operating with limited resources; our ability to control our operating expenses; general economic and business conditions; our ability to obtain capital when desired on favorable terms including our need for significant additional capital prior to the end of the third quarter 2010 to fund our operations; our current financial resources and substantial doubt about our ability to continue as a going concern; and the volatility of the market price of our common stock. Existing and prospective investors are cautioned not to place undue reliance on these forward-looking statements, which speak only as of the date hereof. While Helicos anticipates that subsequent developments may cause the company's views to change, Helicos undertakes no obligation to update or revise the information contained in this press release, whether as a result of new information, future events or circumstances or otherwise, except as required by law. For additional disclosure regarding these and other risks faced by Helicos, see the disclosure contained in Helicos' public filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission.