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AGBT: Pacific Biosciences Offers More Info on Onso Short-Read Sequencer Performance, Pricing

NEW YORK – Pacific Biosciences this week provided more information about its soon-to-be-shipped short-read sequencing platform, Onso, including consumables pricing.

A 300-cycle kit with yield in the range of 120 Gb to 150 Gb will cost $1,995, or approximately $15 per Gb. A 200-cycle kit with yield in the range of 80 Gb to 100 Gb will cost $1,695, or approximately $19 per Gb, according to the firm.

At a company-sponsored workshop at the Advances in Genome Biology and Technology annual meeting on Thursday, Young Kim, a senior staff product manager at PacBio, said the pricing was partially determined by the amount of sequencing the platform could save users based on its high accuracy.

He showed data from two internal beta testing runs that suggested 90 percent of bases had quality scores well above Q40, or 99.99 percent accuracy. One run had 90 percent of bases at Q46, with 737 million reads at 2X 150 bp and a yield of 111 Gb. The other run had 90 percent of bases at Q44, with 617 million reads and 93 Gb yield. The firm is optimizing cluster densities and is "on track" to reach its spec of 800 million reads per flow cell, Kim said.

This accuracy, at lower coverage, would match the performance of other short-read platforms at high coverage for applications such as cancer panels to determine low-frequency mutations or other "needle in a haystack" assays, he suggested.

Kim showed data from two unnamed targeted cancer panels, usually run at 25,000X and 35,000X coverage, respectively, on unspecified competitors' platforms. Onso was able to obtain similar sensitivity to detect mutations at 6,250X and 8,750X coverage, respectively. One panel cost $699 to sequence with competitors' short reads, he claimed, while Onso could do it for $300, or a 57 percent cost reduction per sample.

Onso's applications will go beyond cancer tissue testing, though, extending into single-cell analyses. In his presentation, Kim showed data from a run analyzing 10,000 individual cells using 10x Genomics' single-cell gene expression kit. "We can deliver on a broad range of popular sequencing applications, not just needle-in-a-haystack," he said.

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