August 3, 2020

Pacific Biosciences and Asuragen Collaborate to Develop Assays for Carrier Screening and other Applications Based on SMRT Sequencing Technology and AmplideX PCR Chemistry

Joint Research Effort Will Lead to Molecular Assays That Can Improve Variant Detection and Access Difficult-to-Sequence Regions of the Human Genome

AUSTIN, Texas and MENLO PARK, Calif., Aug. 03, 2020 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Pacific Biosciences of California, Inc. (Nasdaq:PACB), a leading provider of high-quality sequencing of genomes, transcriptomes and epigenomes, and Asuragen, a molecular diagnostics company delivering easy-to-use products for complex testing in genetics and oncology, today announced their clinical research collaboration aimed at developing molecular assays based on PacBio’s Single Molecule, Real-Time (SMRT®) Sequencing technology. The initial focus of the collaboration will be on research in support of assay development for the carrier screening market.

Several of the most common carrier genes for autosomal recessive and X-linked conditions are either technically challenging or inaccessible to amplify and sequence, leading to incomplete coverage and convoluted workflows spread over multiple platforms. Through this collaboration, Asuragen scientists will develop assays that combine the company’s AmplideX PCR technology for enriching hard-to-amplify sequences with PacBio SMRT Sequencing, a highly accurate long-read sequencing technology with a unique ability to represent all regions of the genome and to detect any kind of structural or other variation.

“Innovative amplification and sequencing technologies have each been instrumental in discovering and characterizing challenging disease-causing structural variants, such as indels, copy number changes, and repeat expansions,” said Gary J. Latham, PhD, Senior Vice President of Research and Development at Asuragen. “We are excited to work with PacBio to combine the best of both technologies to build assays that can uniformly resolve simple and complex forms of genetic variation for research and clinical applications.”

Scientists at Asuragen will develop assays for PacBio’s Sequel Systems using Asuragen’s AmplideX® PCR technology. AmplideX products are designed to solve testing needs in inherited genetic disorders through easy-to-run assays and optimized workflows that deliver best-in-class performance. Assays will make use of PacBio’s HiFi long reads, an approach incorporating multiple passes of the same molecule to create a highly accurate consensus sequence.

“We are honored to partner with Asuragen, a leader in molecular diagnostics, to apply the unique value of SMRT Sequencing for clinical research,” said Jonas Korlach, PhD, Chief Scientific Officer of Pacific Biosciences. “Scientists have shown that PacBio’s long-read sequencing systems offer a high-resolution view of the human genome that is simply not possible with any other sequencing technology. We look forward to working with Asuragen to design assays capable of interrogating challenging genomic regions and detecting all variant types.”

About Asuragen
Asuragen is a molecular diagnostic product company changing the way patients are treated in genetics and oncology. Asuragen’s diagnostic systems, composed of proprietary chemistry and software, deliver powerful answers using broadly installed instrument platforms. They are simple to adopt and expand the ability to serve patients. Asuragen is a product foundry rapidly and efficiently addressing current and emerging clinical needs, including cancer diagnosis and monitoring, reproductive health and aging, serving laboratories across a patient’s lifespan with its best in class diagnostic tests. For more information, visit

About Pacific Biosciences
Pacific Biosciences of California, Inc. (NASDAQ:PACB), is empowering life scientists with highly accurate long-read sequencing. 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 Research Use Only. Not for use in diagnostic procedures. For more information please visit and follow @PacBio.

Forward-Looking Statements
All statements in this press release that are not historical are forward-looking statements, including, among other things, statements relating to market leadership, uses, accuracy, quality or performance of, or benefits of using, our products or technologies, including SMRT technology, the suitability or utility of our methods, products or technologies for particular applications or projects, the expected benefits of the research collaboration with Asuragen, the ability of the Company to be successful in reaching its technological and commercial potential, and other future events. You should not place undue reliance on forward-looking statements because they involve known and unknown risks, uncertainties, changes in circumstances and other factors that are, in some cases, beyond Pacific Biosciences’ control and could cause actual results to differ materially from the information expressed or implied by forward-looking statements made in this press release. Factors that could materially affect actual results can be found in Pacific Biosciences’ most recent filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission, including Pacific Biosciences’ most recent reports on Forms 8-K, 10-K and 10-Q, and include those listed under the caption “Risk Factors.” Pacific Biosciences undertakes no obligation to revise or update information in this press release to reflect events or circumstances in the future, even if new information becomes available.

Asuragen Contacts
Lynne Hohlfeld

Pacific Biosciences Contacts
Investors: Trevin Rard

Media: Colin Sanford


Pacific Biosciences logo

Source: Pacific Biosciences of California, Inc.

Talk with an expert

If you have a question, need to check the status of an order, or are interested in purchasing an instrument, we're here to help.