Illumina to buy sequencing systems firm Pacific Biosciences for $1.2bn

5 November 2018 (Last Updated November 5th, 2018 14:35)

Gene sequencing company Illumina has agreed to acquire sequencing systems developer Pacific Biosciences in an all-cash transaction valued at approximately $1.2bn, or $8 per share.

Illumina to buy sequencing systems firm Pacific Biosciences for $1.2bn
Illumina aims to strengthen its footprint in gene sequencing space with Pacific Biosciences acquisition. Credit: Illumina Inc.

Gene sequencing company Illumina has agreed to acquire sequencing systems developer Pacific Biosciences in an all-cash transaction valued at approximately $1.2bn, or $8 per share.

The transaction is intended to expand Illumina’s current short-read gene sequencing platforms offering with the addition of Pacific Biosciences’ long-read sequencing capabilities.

Following the completion of the deal, Illumina will be able to provide integrated workflows and new solutions based on both the technologies. The new solutions are expected to help in developing economical tests.

Illumina president and CEO Francis deSouza said: “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.

“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.”

Pacific Biosciences products build on its Single Molecule, Real-Time (SMRT) technology, and are designed for de novo genome assembly.

Pacific Biosciences CEO Michael Hunkapiller said: “Through this combination, thousands of researchers will now have direct access to this technology.

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

“Our complementary sequencing technology, once integrated, will offer customers a new standard of insight and understanding, opening new frontiers of genomic utility.”

The deal, which is subject to customary closing conditions and approvals, is expected to be completed mid-next year.

Illumina portfolio of DNA sequencing and array-based technologies are applicable in research and clinical diagnostic areas.

In April, the company partnered with Loxo Oncology to develop and commercialise pan-cancer companion diagnostics (CDx) based on its TruSight Tumor 170 next-generation sequencing (NGS) test.