Pacific Biosciences Launches New Nucleic Acid Sequencing Platform Based on Its Single Molecule, Real-Time (SMRT) Technology; Sequel™ System Said to Offer Significantly Higher Throughput, Reducing Project Costs and Timelines

On September 30, 2015, Pacific Biosciences of California, Inc., (NASDAQ:PACB), a pioneer and leader in long-read sequencing using its Single Molecule, Real-Time (SMRT®) Technology, announced that it has launched a new nucleic acid sequencing platform. The Sequel™ System (photo) provides higher throughput, more scalability, a reduced footprint and lower sequencing project costs compared to the PacBio® RS II System, while maintaining the existing benefits of the company’s SMRT Technology, the company said. Pacific Biosciences will showcase the new product at the American Society of Human Genetics (ASHG) 2015 annual meeting taking place in Baltimore, Maryland from October 6 through October 10. The core of the Sequel System is the capacity of its re-designed SMRT Cells, which contain one million zero-mode waveguides (ZMWs) at the product’s launch, compared to 150,000 ZMWs in the earlier SMRT Technology instrument, the PacBio RS II. Active individual polymerases are immobilized within the ZMWs, providing windows to observe and record DNA sequencing in real time. With approximately seven times as many reads per SMRT Cell as the PacBio RS II, customers should be able to realize lower costs and shorter timelines for sequencing projects, with approximately half the up-front capital investment compared to previous technology. The Sequel System also occupies a smaller footprint — less than one-third the size and weight — compared to the PacBio RS II. Because the new system is built on the Pacific Biosciences established SMRT Technology, most aspects of the sequencing workflow are unchanged.
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