Single Molecule Sequencing Technology Will Play Integral Role in Japan's National Sequencing Center
CAMBRIDGE, Mass., Sep 08, 2009 (BUSINESS WIRE) -- Helicos BioSciences Corporation (NASDAQ:HLCS) today announced that the RIKEN Yokohama Institute Omics Science Center (OSC) has agreed to purchase four Helicos™ Genetic Analysis Systems. The transaction represents the first multisystem sale of the Helicos system to a large genome center. Shipments are expected to take place in September, with one system remaining in Cambridge to be used in a scientific collaboration between the two parties that began last year.
RIKEN's OSC recently received funding from the Japanese government to assume the role of the country's primary national DNA sequencing center. As part of Japan's renowned RIKEN, the OSC has the unifying objective of developing a multi-purpose, large-scale analysis center to elucidate molecular networks in biological systems. A major component of the national project for the RIKEN OSC is the "Cell Innovation Project", which is aimed at understanding cell function at the molecular level using next-generation and single-molecule sequencing technologies.
In addition to the sale of systems and reagents, RIKEN and Helicos will continue a scientific collaboration that began in November 2008. The collaborative research plan is designed to enable new insights into cell biology and to explore novel methods to ultimately enable singlecell transcriptome analyses. The OSC Director, Yoshihide Hayashizaki, M.D., Ph.D., will comanage the research plan with Patrice Milos, Ph.D., Helicos Vice President and Chief Scientific Officer.
"Our relationship with the RIKEN OSC led by Dr. Hayashizaki and RIKEN's commitment to purchase the Helicos systems demonstrates the value of Helicos technology to the scientific community," explained Helicos President Steve Lombardi. "We're proud to have such a prestigious institution as our first multi-system genome center customer. Their commitment is further validation of the scientific and commercial importance of single molecule sequencing."
"The single-molecule sequencing platform developed by Helicos will help accelerate on-going progress in transcriptomics analysis at RIKEN's OSC," remarked Dr. Hayashizaki. "The Helicos system offers us the ability to make unbiased measurements of nucleic acids without amplification, to utilize very low starting amounts of nucleic acid, and to generate over 800 million sequences per run, providing accurate and precise measurements. These benefits of single-molecule sequencing to quantitative expression profiling, including measuring the activity of gene regulatory regions, will greatly expand our range of experimental approaches so that we can reveal more of the unknown biology of the genome to the scientific community."
"RIKEN has been at the forefront of scientific and technological advances that have revolutionized genomic sciences," stated Patrice Milos. "Our collaboration over the last year, culminating in this multi-unit system acquisition, once again demonstrates the innovation and vision that serves as the RIKEN hallmark. We are honored to continue our work together."
About Helicos BioSciences
Helicos BioSciences is a life science company focused on innovative genetic analysis technologies for the research, drug discovery, and diagnostic markets. Helicos' proprietary True Single Molecule Sequencing (tSMS)™ technology allows direct measurement of billions of strands of DNA, enabling scientists to perform experiments and ask questions never before possible. Helicos is a recipient of the $1,000 genome grant and is committed to providing scientists the tools to unlock the era of genomic medicine. The company's corporate headquarters are located at One Kendall Square, Building 700, Cambridge, MA 02139, and its telephone number is (617) 264-1800. For more information, please visit www.helicosbio.com.
About The Omics Science Center at the RIKEN Yokohama Institute
RIKEN is a Japanese research institute that carries out high-level experimental and research work in a wide range of fields, including physics, chemistry, medical science, biology, and engineering, covering the entire range from basic research to practical applications. RIKEN was first organized in 1917 as a private research foundation and was reorganized in 2003 as an independent administrative institution under the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology. RIKEN Omics Science Center is one of 13 research centers in RIKEN and its focus is on developing genome-wide technologies and their applications. www.riken.go.jp
Certain statements made in this press release that are not based on historical information are forward-lookingstatements which are made pursuant to the safe harbor provisions of the Private SecuritiesLitigation Reform Act of 1995. This press release contains express or implied forward-looking statementsrelating to, among other things, the anticipated commercial and scientific benefits of the sale of theHelicos systems to RIKEN OSC discussed in this press release, and management's plans, objectives andstrategies. These statements are neither promises nor guarantees, but are subject to a variety of risksand uncertainties, many of which are beyond Helicos' control, which could cause actual results to differmaterially from those contemplated in these forward-looking statements. In particular, the risks anduncertainties include, among other things, our ability to successfully complete and/or scale themanufacturing and commercialization process for the Helicos Genetic Analysis System; our history ofoperating losses and ability to achieve profitability; our ability to sustain and scale our manufacturingcapabilities; the research and development spending levels of academic, clinical and governmentalresearch institutions and pharmaceutical, biotechnology and agriculture companies who may purchaseour Helicos Genetic Analysis System; our reliance on third-party suppliers; competition; changingtechnology and customer requirements; our ability to operate in an emerging market; market acceptanceof our technology; the length of our sales and implementation cycles; our dependence on large contractsfor the sale and implementation of our Helicos Genetic Analysis System; failure of our technology andproducts; our ability to maintain customer relationships and contracts; ethical, legal and social concernssurrounding the use of genetic information; our ability to retain our personnel and hire additional skilledpersonnel; our ability to manage our growth while operating with limited resources; our ability to controlour operating expenses; general economic and business conditions; our ability to obtain capital whendesired on favorable terms; and the volatility of the market price of our common stock. Existing andprospective investors are cautioned not to place undue reliance on these forward-looking statements,which speak only as of the date hereof. Helicos undertakes no obligation to update or revise theinformation contained in this press release, whether as a result of new information, future events orcircumstances or otherwise. 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.
Helicos BioSciences Corporation
Susan Shepard, 617-264-1850