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Helicos BioSciences launches diagnostic business
August 2010
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CAMBRIDGE, Mass.—After struggling financially with its genome sequencing device sales business, Helicos BioSciences Corp. announced June 25 that it will launch a diagnostics business designed to leverage the genomic information that sequencers yield to provide low-cost diagnostic tests. The company is in the early stages of validating molecular diagnostic (MDx) tests that use its HeliScopeSingle Molecule Sequencer, which is able to sequence single molecules of natural, unamplified DNA or RNA.  According to Helicos, this simplifies the diagnostic testing workflow, obviating the need for the amplification steps used by most genetic analysis methods, and enabling the company to sell its MDx tests for substantially less than the price of comparable existing diagnostic tests.

Ron Lowy, president and CEO, says Helicos considered several alternatives and decided that "developing tests for the nascent and expanding diagnostics sequencing market presented the best opportunity to deploy technology that will potentially drive rapid, near-term revenue growth by providing attractively priced MDx tests."
 

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