Pacific Biosciences inks agreement with Roche Diagnostics

Companies to work together on products for in-vitro diagnostics

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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 andmanufacture certain products for clinical use, which will be sold exclusivelyto Roche, who has obtained worldwide rights to exclusively distribute saidproducts in the field of human in-vitrodiagnostics. Pacific Biosciences will continue marketing its products for allfields outside of human in-vitrodiagnostics.
"We are delighted to have Roche as our in-vitro diagnostics partner," Mike Hunkapiller, presidentand CEO of Pacific Biosciences, said in a press release. "As a world leader in in-vitro diagnostics, Roche brings valuable expertise indesigning products for clinical use and obtaining regulatory approvals to sellclinical products in the U.S. and around the world. We believe the combinationof our SMRT Sequencing technology with Roche's market position and expertise indiagnostics will allow accelerated commercial success for both companies."
Per the terms of the agreement, Roche will pay PacificBiosciences $35 million up front, with the possibility of up to an additional$40 million in funding if development milestones are met. Once developmentprograms have been completed, Pacific Biosciences expects additional incomefrom the manufacture and supply of instrument, software and some consumableproducts, which Roche will market and distribute for clinical use inconjunction with its assay-specific reagents.
"We see great potential in Pacific Biosciences' sequencingtechnology for the development of future clinical sequencing applications," DanZabrowski, head of the Sequencing Unit at Roche, commented in a statement."Sequencing will be a key technology in addressing the strong and growingdemand for genetic and genomic solutions in the clinic. We are looking forwardto this partnership to accelerate and support the transition of DNA sequencinginto routine diagnostics through our joint development efforts."
This is Pacific Biosciences' second recent partnership featuring its Single Molecule, Real-Time technology. In May, the companyannounced a co-marketing partnership with Sage Science, under which thepartners will provide customers of the PacBio RS II DNA Sequencing System withthe ability to sequence even longer fragments of DNA when performing SingleMolecule, Real-Time Sequencing. Utilizing Sage Science's BluePippin platform,which is part of a line of automated size-selection tools, optimizessequencing. Scientists at Pacific Biosciences assessed threelibraries—bacterial, fish and mammalian—generated with and without BluePippinsize selection, and with BluePippin, N50 subread lengths increased by 90percent, 110 percent and 86 percent respectively.
SOURCE: Pacific Biosciences press release

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