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Pacific Biosciences and RainDance Technologies Partner to Co-Develop and Commercialize Novel Solution For de novo Whole Genome Assembly

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

MENLO PARK, Calif. and BILLERICA, Mass., May 5, 2015 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Pacific Biosciences of California, Inc. (Nasdaq:PACB), provider of the PacBio® RS II Sequencing System, and RainDance Technologies, Inc., a genomics tools company dedicated to simplifying the analysis of complex genetic diseases, today announced their entry into a co-development and co-marketing agreement to commercialize novel solutions for de novo whole genome assembly.

These solutions will combine the power of RainDance’s proprietary digital droplet technology and single-molecule barcoding capabilities with Pacific Biosciences’ proprietary long-range DNA amplification technology to provide sample preparation upstream of PacBio’s long-read sequencing system. This combination could provide a method to generate millions of long, single-molecule barcoded DNA fragments, averaging 10-30 kilobases that originated from much longer (~ 100 kilobase) fragments.

Combining this fragmentation and labeling scheme with a sequence context-unbiased amplification method for long DNA fragments, PacBio sequencing could provide de novo, haplotype-phased assembly of complex genomes. This would be possible even in genomic regions containing complex repeats or PCR-challenged sequences that limit performance of synthetic long-read approaches based upon short-read sequencing technologies. Furthermore, this approach will be designed to work with low DNA input – as little as 1 ng – to address scarce or difficult-to-procure samples.

“Today, the research community is limited to technologies that ‘shred’ genomes into tiny fragments before sequencing, using computational power to assemble a genome scaffold,” said Dr. W. Richard McCombie, Professor at Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory. “This is inefficient and error-prone. The addition of longer range sequencing information would provide even better assemblies with precise location in context. Moreover, by barcoding long fragments prepared from individual molecules, we could also get haplotype phasing information across much longer stretches of the genome assemblies.”

Dr. Michael Hunkapiller, President and CEO of Pacific Biosciences, commented: “The strength of RainDance’s proprietary technology, patent position and commercialization experience in droplets was fundamental to our decision to enter into this collaboration. We chose to work with RainDance because they are the market leader in droplet-based target enrichment and are rapidly expanding into innovative sequencing applications for long reads and single cells. While our customers can already get industry-leading de novo genome assemblies with just PacBio, the addition of even longer-range sequencing information would provide even better assemblies.”

Roopom Banerjee, RainDance Technologies’ President and CEO, added: “This collaboration underscores the power of our proprietary droplet technology to help enable even higher quality de novo genome assembly to enhance our understanding and interpretation of the genetic basis of disease. This initiative demonstrates our commitment to continuously pushing the innovation frontier in droplet technology and sequencing applications.”

About Pacific Biosciences 

Pacific Biosciences of California, Inc. (Nasdaq:PACB) offers the PacBio® RS II Sequencing System to help scientists resolve genetically complex problems. Based on its novel Single Molecule, Real-Time (SMRT®) technology, Pacific Biosciences’ products enable: de novo genome assembly to finish genomes in order to more fully identify, annotate and decipher genomic structures; full-length transcript analysis to improve annotations in reference genomes, characterize alternatively spliced isoforms in important gene families, and find novel genes; targeted sequencing to more comprehensively characterize genetic variations; and DNA base modification identification to help characterize epigenetic regulation and DNA damage. Pacific Biosciences’ technology provides the industry’s highest consensus accuracy over
the longest read lengths in combination with the ability to detect real-time kinetic information. The PacBio RS II System, including consumables and software, provides a simple, fast, end-to-end workflow for SMRT Sequencing. More information is available at www.pacb.com.

About RainDance Technologies

RainDance Technologies is making complex genetics simple. The company’s ultra-sensitive genomic tools enable research of novel non-invasive liquid biopsy applications that should result in more accurate, reliable, cost-effective, and early detection of cancer and other inherited and infectious diseases. Major research institutions and laboratories around the world rely on the performance of RainDance systems. Based outside Boston, Massachusetts, the company supports customers using RainDrop® Digital PCR, as well as the ThunderStorm® and ThunderBolts™ Next-Generation Sequencing Enrichment Systems through its international sales and service operations, as well as a global network
of distributors and commercial service providers. Both technology platforms have been recognized by The Scientist as Top 10 Innovations with the RainDrop System winning the award in 2014 and the ThunderStorm System winning the award in 2011. More information is available at https://www.raindancetech.com.

The ThunderBolts Myeloid Panel, ThunderBolts NGS Enrichment System, RainDrop Digital PCR System and ThunderStorm NGS Enrichment System are for Research Use Only. Not for use in diagnostic procedures.

RainDance Technologies, the RainDance Technologies logo, ThunderBolts, RainDrop, and ThunderStorm are trademarks of RainDance Technologies, Inc. All other brands may be trademarks of their respective holders.

SMRT and PacBio are Registered Trademarks of Pacific Biosciences of California, Inc.

Forward-Looking Statements

All statements in this press release that are not historical are forward-looking statements, including, among other things, statements relating to potential development or commercialization of products, future uses or performance of products, the expected benefits of the agreement with RainDance 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.

CONTACT: Media Contacts



         For RainDance Technologies:

         Pamela Mahoney

         BlueChair Group

         (408) 674-6997

         pamela@bluechairgroup.com



         For Pacific Biosciences

         Nicole Litchfield

         415.793.6468

         nicole@bioscribe.com

Source: Pacific Biosciences of California, Inc.

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