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Pacific Biosciences inks agreement with Roche Diagnostics
by Kelsey Kaustinen  |  Email the author


MENLO PARK, Calif.—Pacific Biosciences of California, Inc. and Roche Diagnostics have signed an agreement to develop diagnostic products, including sequencing systems and consumables, based on Pacific Biosciences' Single Molecule, Real-Time technology. Pacific Biosciences will develop and manufacture certain products for clinical use, which will be sold exclusively to Roche, who has obtained worldwide rights to exclusively distribute said products in the field of human in-vitro diagnostics. Pacific Biosciences will continue marketing its products for all fields outside of human in-vitro diagnostics.
"We are delighted to have Roche as our in-vitro diagnostics partner," Mike Hunkapiller, president and CEO of Pacific Biosciences, said in a press release. "As a world leader in in-vitro diagnostics, Roche brings valuable expertise in designing products for clinical use and obtaining regulatory approvals to sell clinical products in the U.S. and around the world. We believe the combination of our SMRT Sequencing technology with Roche's market position and expertise in diagnostics will allow accelerated commercial success for both companies."  
Per the terms of the agreement, Roche will pay Pacific Biosciences $35 million up front, with the possibility of up to an additional $40 million in funding if development milestones are met. Once development programs have been completed, Pacific Biosciences expects additional income from the manufacture and supply of instrument, software and some consumable products, which Roche will market and distribute for clinical use in conjunction with its assay- specific reagents.  
"We see great potential in Pacific Biosciences' sequencing technology for the development of future clinical sequencing applications," Dan Zabrowski, head of the Sequencing Unit at Roche, commented in a statement. "Sequencing will be a key technology in addressing the strong and growing demand for genetic and genomic solutions in the clinic. We are looking forward to this partnership to accelerate and support the transition of DNA sequencing into routine diagnostics through our joint development efforts."  
This is Pacific Biosciences' second recent partnership featuring its Single Molecule, Real-Time technology. In May, the company announced a co-marketing partnership with Sage Science, under which the partners will provide customers of the PacBio RS II DNA Sequencing System with the ability to sequence even longer fragments of DNA when performing Single Molecule, Real-Time Sequencing. Utilizing Sage Science's BluePippin platform, which is part of a line of automated size-selection tools, optimizes sequencing. Scientists at Pacific Biosciences assessed three libraries— bacterial, fish and mammalian—generated with and without BluePippin size selection, and with BluePippin, N50 subread lengths increased by 90 percent, 110 percent and 86 percent respectively.  
SOURCE: Pacific Biosciences press release
Code: E09251306



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