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Pacific Biosciences Raises $100M in Series E Financing; Plans to Commercialize Sequencer in 2010

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb News) - Pacific Biosciences said today that it has raised $100 million in new financing that it will use to commercially develop its single-molecule DNA sequencing platform.
Hugh Martin, chairman and CEO of Pacific Biosciences, said in a statement that the financing “will enable us to surge forward with an aggressive development program” and commercialize the platform in 2010.
The Series E private equity funding came from a group composed of both new previous investors.
New financial backers include the round’s co-leaders, Deerfield Management and Intel Capital. Other new investors include Morgan Stanley, Redmile Group, T. Rowe Price, and one undisclosed financial institution.
Previous funders involved in the round include Mohr Davidow Ventures, Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, Alloy Ventures, Maverick Capital, AllianceBernstein, DAG Ventures, and Teachers' Private Capital. These firms had previously provided the company with around $71.5 million in funding.
The company has also received $6.6 million in funding from the National Human Genome Research Institute under its “$1,000 Genome” sequencing technology program.
Pacific Bioscience said that its single-molecule, real-time, or SMRT, sequencing technology offers long reads, fast run times, and high-quality sequence data at lower cost than competing platforms.
The company said that the SMRT technology is based on two key developments: a chip that enables observation of individual fluorophores against a background of labeled nucleotides with a high signal-to-noise ratio; and phospholinked nucleotides that “produce a completely natural DNA strand through fast, accurate, and processive DNA synthesis.”

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