Helicos BioSciences Awarded ‘Revolutionary Genome Sequencing Technologies – The $1000 Genome’ Grant

Helicos BioSciences Corporation

Helicos BioSciences Awarded ‘Revolutionary Genome Sequencing Technologies – The $1000 Genome’ Grant

October 4, 2006

Recognition by National Human Genome Institute to Accelerate Research of Helicos Single Molecule Sequencing Technology

CAMBRIDGE, Mass.--(October 4, 2006)-- Helicos BioSciences, a pioneer in highspeed, high-sensitivity sequencing, today announced that it has received a $2 Million grant from the National Human Genome Research Institute (NHGRI) as part of the Institute’s “Revolutionary Genome Sequencing Technologies – The $1000 Genome” research program. The grant will fund research of Helicos’ proprietary single molecule sequencing technology (tSMS™) for ultra low cost resequencing applications and de novo sequencing of large genomes. The funds will accelerate Helicos’ efforts to revolutionize medicine by enabling the sequencing and characterization of genomes across thousands of samples.

“We are pleased that the NHGRI sees the value of the Helicos approach to deliver the promise of the $1000 genome”, said Stan Lapidus, Helicos’ President and CEO. “This grant allows us to accelerate our research efforts, which we believe will produce unprecedented sequencing performance on a platform that is easily scalable to large experiments including the sequencing of whole genomes. Experiments which involve extensive coverage of the genome and require hundreds or thousands of samples to achieve significant results are simply not possible today. These important experiments, such as elucidating the full range of DNA alterations in cancer, define a “No Man’s Land” in genomics. We believe our tSMS™ technology will enable investigators to navigate this nascent space.”

Knowledge of the human genome has grown dramatically since its sequence was determined earlier this decade. Once thought to be composed mainly of ‘junk DNA’, recent research depicts the human genome to be far more complex. The majority of the genome is now thought be functionally active and a large portion of the genome is thought to have multiple functions. Armed with this knowledge researchers want to design much bigger experiments across large populations of cohorts, patients and compounds to understand the biology of regulation. Today researchers are challenged by the limits of existing technologies.

The award will last three years and will focus on the development of novel methods of the tSMS™ assay. Specifically, the research will target producing sequencing data with very high accuracy at unprecedented low cost. These methods have broad applicability to the life sciences, from comparative genomics across species to the detailed study of human variation to elucidating the sequence of economically useful organisms. A key focus of the Helicos grant will be on the development of methods that enable the full characterization of cancer genomes.

About tSMS™

tSMS™ is a technique that enables researchers to rapidly and accurately sequence individual molecules of DNA and RNA. This allows direct interrogation of the single molecule as opposed to an amplified population of molecules. tSMS™ holds enormous potential for elucidating the gamut of genetic aberrations in oncology, through the ability to serve as a universal detection system across a wide variety of applications for both DNA and RNA.

Examples of some of the applications tSMS™ will enable are whole tumor resequencing, quantitative transcriptional profiling, genome wide methylation studies, and candidate region resequencing.

The advantages of tSMS™ over amplified molecule sequencing include: no PCR bias, no errors introduced by amplification, and no dephasing issues commonly present in amplified molecule sequencing. In addition, tSMS™ promises the highest possible throughput and enables reagent cost savings on the order of 1,000 times less than Sanger sequencing.

About Helicos BioSciences

Helicos BioSciences Corporation began operations in February 2004, and has raised $67 million from a top-tier investment consortium to date. Helicos is developing instruments and reagents for the high-speed sequencing of DNA and RNA with the highest possible sensitivity. The Helicos technology, based on pioneering research of Dr. Stephen Quake of Stanford University, is covered by a broad portfolio of granted and filed patents. The company commenced early-access collaborations in 2006 to generate ground breaking scientific publications and start creating revenue, while planning to launch its first commercial systems in 2007.