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Pacific Biosciences

PacBio Partners with The European Reference Genome Atlas Initiative

Monday, September 27, 2021

Partnership to improve biodiversity research, accelerate conservation with actionable and accurate genomic data

MENLO PARK, Calif., Sept. 27, 2021 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Pacific Biosciences of California, Inc. (Nasdaq: PACB)(“Pacific Biosciences” or “PacBio”), a leading provider of high-quality, highly accurate sequencing platforms, today announced a partnership with The European Reference Genome Atlas (ERGA) consortium to support its efforts in understanding and protecting biodiversity by generating high-quality reference genomes for European plant and animal species.

Biodiversity is under threat worldwide with a high number of European species at risk of extinction1. Genomics is a powerful tool to help understand biology and how ecosystems function. PacBio’s HiFi Sequencing technology allows scientists to take the first important step by reliably generating high-quality genetic maps of each plant and animal species. Studies have shown that reference-quality genomes provide the most complete insight into the genetic basis that forms each species2.

“Together, PacBio and ERGA aim to put Europe’s biodiversity on the path to recovery by 2030,” said Neil Ward, Vice President and General Manager of EMEA at PacBio. “Each plant and animal species has a unique genome and they range in complexity. Since HiFi Sequencing reads are both large and accurate, scientists can easily assemble, phase, and analyze genomes with confidence.”

ERGA seeks to increase coordination across all countries of the European continent, in tandem with international partners, to generate reference-quality, complete and error-free genome assemblies for at least 200,000 plant and animal species – across Europe.

“With accurate reference genomes, scientists can gain the most complete insight into a species’ genetic basis to understand its evolutionary history and also predict its future adaptation potential,” said Camila Mazzoni, Chair, ERGA, Research Group Leader at Leibniz Institute for Zoo and Wildlife Research. “We’re excited to welcome PacBio to the ERGA initiative and look forward to our coordinated effort to generate complete reference genomes for all European biodiversity, which will accelerate conservation initiatives and advance biodiversity genomics innovation.”

This partnership expands PacBio’s continued support for worldwide and regional consortiums, including the Darwin Tree of Life and Aquatic Symbiosis Genomics initiatives with the Wellcome Sanger Institute, the Vertebrate Genomes Project, the Earth BioGenome Project and the California Conservation Genomics Project. These initiatives are dedicated to preserving, monitoring and cataloging biodiversity with actionable and accurate genomic data.

To learn more, please visit the PacBio website.

About Pacific Biosciences
Pacific Biosciences of California, Inc. (NASDAQ: PACB) mission is to enable the promise of genomics to better human health and to create the world’s most advanced sequencing technologies. Today, the company’s innovative instruments are based on Single Molecule, Real-Time (SMRT®) Sequencing technology, which delivers a comprehensive view of genomes, transcriptomes, and epigenomes, enabling access to the full spectrum of genetic variation in any organism. Cited in thousands of peer-reviewed publications, PacBio® sequencing systems are in use by scientists around the world to drive discovery in human biomedical research, plant and animal sciences, and microbiology. For more information, please visit www.pacb.com and follow @PacBio.

About the European Reference Genome Atlas (ERGA) Initiative
Under the umbrella of the Earth BioGenome Project (EBP), ERGA is part of a large network of global biodiversity genomics consortiums. ERGA is a people-based initiative that is entitled to be fully inclusive, diverse, and equal across all European countries with the aim to put Europe’s biodiversity on the path to recovery by 2030 for the benefit of people, climate, and the planet. The program is currently developing a framework for the Pan-European interconnection of expertise in the field of biodiversity genomics, building upon existing infrastructure and applying for support to the Horizon Europe Programme. The implementation of a European hub to EBP is responding to a call of the European Commission, to tackle challenges resulting from climate change, help to achieve the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals and boost Europe’s competitiveness and growth.

PacBio products are provided for research use only. Not for use in diagnostic procedures.

Forward-Looking Statements
This press release may contain “forward-looking statements” within the meaning of Section 21E of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended, and the U.S. Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995, including statements relating to PacBio’s partnership with ERGA and related support to generate reference genomes, including the number and types of genomes; benefits of using HiFi Sequencing technology, including in connection with the assembly, phasing and analysis of genomes; biodiversity recovery efforts; the acceleration of conservation initiatives and biodiversity genomics innovation. Readers are cautioned not to place undue reliance on these forward-looking statements and any such forward-looking statements are qualified in their entirety by reference to the following cautionary statements. All forward-looking statements speak only as of the date of this press release and are based on current expectations and involve a number of assumptions, risks and uncertainties that could cause the actual results to differ materially from such forward-looking statements. Readers are strongly encouraged to read the full cautionary statements contained in the Company’s filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission, including the risks set forth in the company’s Forms 8-K, 10-K, and 10-Q. The Company disclaims any obligation to update or revise any forward-looking statements.


Todd Friedman
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Jen Carroll
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1 Borrell, B. One-fifth of invertebrate species at risk of extinction. Nature (2012). Published 2012 Sept 03. https://doi.org/10.1038/nature.2012.11341
2 Brandies P, Peel E, Hogg CJ, Belov K. The Value of Reference Genomes in the Conservation of Threatened Species. Genes (Basel). 2019;10(11):846. Published 2019 Oct 25. doi:10.3390/genes10110846