Helicos BioSciences Announces Shipment of the World's First Single Molecule DNA Sequencer

Helicos BioSciences Corporation

Helicos BioSciences Announces Shipment of the World's First Single Molecule DNA Sequencer

March 5, 2008

First customer shipment marks a major inflection point in Genomic Analysis and a significant step toward the $1,000 Genome

CAMBRIDGE, Mass., Mar 05, 2008 (BUSINESS WIRE) -- Helicos BioSciences (NASDAQ: HLCS), a life science company focused on innovative genetic analysis technologies, announced today the first shipment of the Helicos(TM) Genetic Analysis System to Expression Analysis of Durham, North Carolina, the market leader in genomic analysis services. The shipment of the first-ever single molecule DNA sequencer marks an inflection point in genomic analysis and represents a major achievement in measurement science. It is the first sequencing platform on the market designed to deliver $1,000 genome performance.

Single molecule DNA sequencing has been a goal of the scientific community for over 40 years. Its direct measurement capability, simplicity, accuracy and throughput mean that scientists can pose new, direct questions as they tackle major problems in biology and medicine. Over the last 20 years many research groups and commercial companies have attempted to develop and commercialize single molecule sequencing. It was Prof. Stephen Quake of Stanford University who in 2003 published ground-breaking work that demonstrated the ability to determine sequence information from single molecules. Helicos' revolutionary True Single Molecule Sequencing (tSMS)(TM) technology has evolved from Dr. Quake's work and provides the scientific community, for the first time, the capability to make direct DNA measurements of billions of individual strands of DNA.

"The first shipment of the Helicos technology signals the next inflection point in the history of medicine," said Stan Lapidus, founder, Chairman and CEO at Helicos. "We expect the pace of research into important and difficult diseases like cancer, diabetes, and heart disease will accelerate considerably as researchers perform direct experiments to elucidate the genetic bases of these diseases. We expect the power and performance of the HeliScope(TM) System will one day allow physicians to personalize prescriptions, pharmaceutical companies, to cut development times of new drugs and diagnostic laboratories to offer more effective less expensive tests."

"The power and simplicity of the Helicos Genetic Analysis System will provide scientists the ability to perform a wide range of genomic analysis and enable new applications that were not previously possible" said Steve Lombardi, President and COO at Helicos. "Large research programs like ENCODE and the 1,000 Genomes will certainly be able to take advantage of tSMS and help Helicos establish itself in the market. Companies like Expression Analysis represent a whole new class of customers who, together with the traditional genome centers, can use our platform to derive in-depth biological meaning from genetic information and enable the use of genetic information in ways we can only imagine today."

At the heart of the System is the HeliScope(TM) Single Molecule Sequencer with its imaging capacity that interrogates approximately 1.3 billion bases per hour. Its fluidics system performs each tSMS chemistry step in just 25 minutes. The tSMS chemistry differs from current methods of sequencing DNA because tSMS enables the analysis of individual molecules of DNA directly without requiring a large number of copies of those molecules. By eliminating the complex copying process, the Helicos approach leads to simple, cost-effective sample preparation. This, in turn, will serve to reduce cost and increase the scale of the experimental workflows required for research like the 1,000 Genomes. The first generation of tSMS chemistry provides customers with market-leading performance. Helicos is planning future generations of chemistry that will ultimately allow customers to access the full power of the HeliScope Sequencer and enable whole human genome analysis at or below $1,000.

"What immediately attracted us to Helicos was the accuracy of its single molecule sequencing offering," said Steve McPhail, Chief Executive Officer of Expression Analysis. "The HeliScope Single Molecule Sequencer is cost-effective, not only for its non-amplification sample preparation advantages, but also because the platform has the opportunity for dramatic performance improvements without significant investments."

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

About Expression Analysis, Inc.

Expertise Beyond Expression -- Providing whole genome to focused set gene expression and genotyping assays, along with sequencing services using Illumina BeadChip(R), Affymetrix GeneChip(R), Helicos True Single Molecule Sequencing (tSMS)(TM) and Applied Biosystems' TaqMan technologies. As the leading provider of genomic services in clinical trials and research, Expression Analysis offers solutions for challenging specimens such as whole blood and FFPE tissues, as well as nucleic acid isolation and data analysis services. Our quality system follows CLSI guidelines and our CLIA-registered lab supports GLP compliance.

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 importance of Helicos' first customer shipment discussed in this press release, Helicos' ability to enable whole genome analysis at or below the $1,000 in the future, 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 build our manufacturing process and fully commercialize the HeliScope system; competition; changing technology and customer acceptance 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 Contacts:
Racepoint Group
Sally Bain, 781-487-4647