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Expression Analysis Orders Pacific Biosciences Sequencer

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This story was originally published May 24.

Genomics service provider Expression Analysis said yesterday that it has agreed to purchase a sequencing system from Pacific Biosciences and expects to become the first commercial service provider offering the technology in the US.

The Durham, NC-based company said it will receive one of the first commercially available PacBio RS systems, expected to be launched in the second half of this year.

Earlier this year, PacBio named the first 10 customers for its instrument, which included academic and government research institutions but no commercial service providers (IS 2/23/2010). These customers are expected to receive their sequencers starting in the second quarter.

PacBio's real-time single-molecule sequencer will enable Expression Analysis "to better serve the requirements of the pharmaceutical and biotechnology industries, specifically as it relates to oncology and infectious disease research," according to a company statement.

"The longer read lengths allow sequencing of complex regions of the genome never before possible and provide a more thorough understanding of structural genetic variations," said Steve McPhail, president and CEO of Expression Analysis.

The company has been an early adopter of sequencing technology before: In 2008, Expression Analysis became the first early-access customer of Helicos BioSciences' single-molecule sequencing platform. However, about a year later, it returned the instrument without payment because it "did not consistently achieve current commercial specifications levels" (IS 2/3/2009).

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