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DNA sequencing business Illumina to acquire Pacific Biosciences for $1.2bn

genetics

Illumina, Inc and Pacific Biosciences have announced its plans for Illumina to acquire Pacific Biosciences for approximately $1.2bn in an all-cash transaction. Pacific Biosciences DNA sequencers will enable DNA to be deciphered with high levels of precision, in order to enable scientists to tackle genetically complex problems.

The acquisition complements Illumina sequencing solutions with accurate long-read sequencing capabilities to answer a set of complex genomic questions. While Illumina’s accurate and economic short-read sequencing platforms address the majority of sequencing applications optimally, select applications, such as de novo sequencing and sequencing of highly homologous regions of genomes, are better addressed with accurate long-reads.

With its acquisition of Pacific Biosciences, Illumina will be positioned to provide integrated workflows and novel innovations that bring together the best of both technologies to help researchers advance their discoveries faster and clinicians offer new tests economically. The move will also support consumer focused genetics services, such as 23andme provide high levels of accuracy within DNA sequencing.

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“PacBio’s unmatched accuracy mirrors that of Illumina’s in short-read sequencing. Combining the two technologies positions us to reach more applications, accelerate the pace of genomic discovery and bolster our innovation engine which has been a hallmark of Illumina since our inception,” said Francis deSouza, President and Chief Executive Officer of Illumina.

“PacBio’s relentless pursuit to improve sequencing accuracy, while driving down the cost, underscores the potential of long-reads to expand sequencing to new customers and applications.”

“Illumina continues to democratise the use of sequencing at an unprecedented rate. Through this combination, thousands of researchers will now have direct access to this technology,” said Michael Hunkapiller, Ph.D., Chief Executive Officer of Pacific Biosciences. “Illumina and Pacific Biosciences have shared values and a commitment to innovation. Our complementary sequencing technology, once integrated, will offer customers a new standard of insight and understanding, opening new frontiers of genomic utility.”

The transaction is subject to approval by the shareholders of Pacific Biosciences, as well as other customary closing conditions, including applicable regulatory approvals. Illumina expects to close the transaction in mid-2019.

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