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Roche, PacBio to Develop NGS-based Clinical Dx in Potential $75M Deal

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb News) – Pacific Biosciences today announced an agreement with Roche Diagnostics to develop diagnostic products based on PacBio's SMRT technology.

Including upfront, milestone, and supply payments, the deal is potentially worth more than $75 million to PacBio.

Under the deal, PacBio will supply Roche with sequencing systems and consumables based on its SMRT platform. Roche will have global rights to exclusively distribute the products in the field of human in vitro diagnostics, while PacBio will continue to market its current and future products for research use in all other markets.

"Sequencing will be a key technology in addressing the strong and growing demand for genetic and genomic solutions in the clinic," Dan Zabrowski, head of the sequencing unit at Roche, said in a statement. "We are looking forward to this partnership to accelerate and support the transition of DNA sequencing into routine diagnostics through our joint development efforts."

PacBio will receive an upfront payment of $35 million from Roche, with an additional $40 million in funding tied to development milestones. PacBio also expects to generate income through the manufacture and supply of instrument, software, and certain consumable products that Roche will market and distribute for clinical use.

"We believe the combination of our SMRT sequencing technology with Roche's market position and expertise in diagnostics will allow accelerated commercial success for both companies," PacBio CEO Mike Hunkapiller said in the statement.

Shares of PacBio jumped 48 percent to $5.13 in Wednesday morning trade on the Nasdaq following announcement of the deal.