Helicos BioSciences Announces MicroRNA Collaboration with miRNA Expert

Helicos BioSciences Corporation

Helicos BioSciences Announces MicroRNA Collaboration with miRNA Expert

January 9, 2008

Partnership with Dr. Victor Ambros to Expand Genomic Discoveries

CAMBRIDGE, Mass., Jan 09, 2008 (BUSINESS WIRE) -- Helicos BioSciences (Nasdaq:HLCS), a life science company focused on innovative genetic analysis technologies, announced today a formal collaboration with Dr. Victor Ambros to apply the quantitative power of True Single Molecule Sequencing (tSMS(TM)) to develop a single assay to characterize known species of microRNA (miRNA) as well as discover new non-coding RNAs.

Dr. Victor Ambros, an elected member of the National Academy of Sciences and a recent addition to the University of Massachusetts Medical School, Program of Molecular Medicine, discovered the existence of miRNA's by finding the Lin-4, a miRNA found during a study of developmental timing in roundworm, Caenorhabditis elegans. Dr. Ambros continues his research on microRNA function and gene regulation during development, focusing on understanding the genetic and molecular mechanisms that control cell division, differentiation and morphogenesis in animals.

"I am delighted to be working with Helicos on a collaboration in which the depth of the data obtained has the potential to elucidate the role of miRNA on disease in a manner that has never before been possible," said Dr. Ambros.

MiRNAs are single-stranded RNA molecules that play a critical role in gene regulation. They are typically no more than 22 nucleotides in length but have been shown to influence genes and protein production throughout the body. Scientific publications on the influence of miRNAs on diseases, such as cancer and heart disease, have been increasing dramatically over the last year.

"The field of miRNA research continues to reveal new insight into biological questions important to our fundamental understanding of disease," said Dr. Patrice Milos, Helicos BioSciences Chief Scientific Officer. "We hope to simplify the methods for miRNA analysis to allow deep insight into the miRNA species present in human cells and tissues. This may facilitate more quantitative analysis of important biological samples as well as probe deeply to reveal previously undiscovered miRNAs. "

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(TM), 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 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

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, Helicos' expectations concerning the prospective value of this collaboration with Dr. Victor Ambros. 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 complete the manufacturing process and commercialize the HeliScope system; competition; changing technology and customer requirements; our ability to operate in an emerging market; market acceptance of our technology; our ability to retain our personnel and hire additional skilled personnel; our ability to manage our rapid growth and our ability to obtain capital when desired on favorable terms. Existing and prospective 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 the information contained in this press release, whether as a result of new information, future events or circumstances 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.


Investor Relations:
Helicos BioSciences Corporation
Louise Mawhinney, 617-264-1800
Sr. Vice President and Chief Financial Officer


Media Contact:
Racepoint Group
Sally Bain, 781-487-4647