Ivan Trifunovich will be occupying the corner office at Helicos BioSciences Corp. (NSDQ:HLCS), as the company rolls out a new licensing program for its single-molecule gene sequencing technology.
Trifunovich, formerly a senior consultant to the Helicos board, was elected to serve as executive chairman Sept. 15. He replaces interim CEO Ronald Lowy, who took over from Stephen Lombardi in February and will remain a board member.
Trifunovich was previously a consultant to life science companies and for seven years served as senior vice president of molecular diagnostics at Third Wave Technologies Inc., which was acquired by Bedford, Mass.-based Hologic in 2008 shortly before he departed.
"I am excited to take over the leadership of Helicos during this critical time as we introduce our technology licensing program," Trifunovich said in prepared remarks.
The Cambridge, Mass. based genomics company was the first to invent and market single-molecule sequencing technology, he added.
"We are pleased to announce that our foundational patents will be made available to encourage broad commercialization of genetic sequencing-by-synthesis and other related technologies. We plan to leverage this broad intellectual property estate that covers all sequencing-by-synthesis methods through licensing, partnering and enforcement strategies," Trifunovich said.
Helicos has struggled during the past year, losing ground in January in the race for more affordable genome sequencing as competitor Illumina Inc. (NSDQ:ILMN) broke a significant pricing threshold. Lombardi resigned a month later. In April NASDAQ regulators threatened to de-list Helicos shares unless the firm gets its stock price above $1 by October. A month after the warning letter arrived, the genetics technology company initiated layoffs.