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New Contender in the Pack

At the Motley Fool, Todd Campbell writes that Pacific Biosciences' Sequel platform aims to give Illumina a run for its money as the foremost provider of sequencing platforms.

PacBio launched the Sequel, a single-molecule sequencing system, last fall. As GenomeWeb reported at that time, the Sequel was developed as part of the company's collaboration with Roche to create a clinical-grade sequencing system. It also offers higher throughput at a lower cost than PacBio's RS platform.

Along with its long reads, the $350,000 price, smaller size, and lighter weight make the Sequel attractive, the Motley Fool says. "Overall, Sequel's cost and performance advantage could lead to Pacific Biosciences selling a bunch of them— something that may already be beginning," it adds, noting that the company received orders for 49 machines during the last quarter of 2015.

However, it notes that Illumina has a broader product line, more money, and a large customer base to contend with.

"Genetic sequencing is fueling the development of increasingly complex medicine and, arguably, that's where the drug industry is heading," Campbell adds. "If Pacific Biosciences can convince researchers that Sequel's cost and long read advantage are worth it, then this stock could become one of the market's most intriguing growth stories over the next few years."