Helicos BioSciences Announces a Novel Homopolymer Solution for True Single Molecule Sequencing (tSMS™)

Helicos BioSciences Corporation

Helicos BioSciences Announces a Novel Homopolymer Solution for True Single Molecule Sequencing (tSMS™)

February 9, 2007

The company’s researchers have developed proprietary nucleotide-polymerase formulations that enable sequencing through homopolymers.

CAMBRIDGE, Mass.—(February 9, 2007)—This week at the Advances in Genome Biology and Technology Conference (AGBT) in Marco Island, Florida, Helicos BioSciences announced that it has developed novel nucleotide-polymerase formulations that enable the characterization of homopolymers. This invention demonstrates Helicos’ ability to sequence through homopolymer regions one base at a time using its single-molecule platform. The ability to generate accurate sequences across the complete genome is critical to the identification and understanding of genetic variants associated with disease. Reading through homopolymers is important because it is estimated that a large fraction of the human genome is represented by stretches of nucleotide repeats referred to as homopolymeric regions.

The proprietary nucleotide analogs contained in these unique formulations control accurate base-by-base extension through chemical means. In addition to improving the accuracy of the tSMS approach, the analogs can be utilized in the tSMS process with minimal impact on the cycle time.

"This marks an important accomplishment in Helicos’ endeavor to deliver a high-performance single molecule sequencing platform," said Stanley N. Lapidus, President and CEO of Helicos BioSciences.

J. William Efcavitch, Helicos’ Senior Vice President of Product Research and Development, who presented the invention at the AGBT meeting added, "This announcement demonstrates the skill of our innovative and talented team in developing cutting edge technology.”

About Helicos BioSciences

Helicos BioSciences Corporation is a life sciences company developing innovative genetic analysis technologies for the research, drug discovery and clinical diagnostics markets. We have developed a proprietary technology to enable ultra-high-throughput genetic analysis based on the direct sequencing of single molecules of DNA or RNA. We believe our True Single Molecule Sequencing, or tSMS, platform represents a fundamental breakthrough in the analysis of biological samples.

Media Contact:
Sally Bain
Racepoint Group