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PacBio Nears Settlement of 'At Least' $7.7M over Litigation Related to its 2010 IPO

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb News) – Pacific Biosciences is closing in on a settlement over a class action lawsuit related to its initial public offering, the company has confirmed to GenomeWeb Daily News.

On October 25, a hearing will be held in Superior Court of California, County of San Mateo before Judge Marie Weiner to determine whether a settlement between PacBio and plaintiffs will be approved. The amount of the settlement is for "at least" approximately $7.7 million, the plaintiffs' lawyers said in a notice about the court hearing.

Through a spokeswoman, the Menlo Park, Calif.-based sequencing technology firm declined to comment, citing pending litigation.

The settlement, if approved, would put to an end one of several lawsuits that were filed against PacBio following its IPO in October 2010. This particular litigation comprises three lawsuits that were filed against the firm between October 2011 and April 2012, which were consolidated into one case.

PacBio's stock went public at $16.00 per share, but in the year that followed, its share price plunged as low as $2.64.

The plaintiffs alleged PacBio violated federal securities law. In one of the original lawsuits that make up the case, the plaintiff, Greg Young, alleged PacBio's registration statement was inaccurate and misleading, contained untrue statements of material facts, and omitted other facts, as In Sequence reported previously.

In particular, Young said in his complaint that the registration statement "materially overstated the status of the RS system's development at the time of the IPO" and omitted facts about its relatively low raw-read accuracy — initially on the order of 80 percent to 84 percent — and low throughput that "would be significant" to potential purchasers.

At least two other lawsuits related to PacBio's IPO remain ongoing, including one filed in December 2011 and one filed the following January, as In Sequence reported.

In afternoon trading shares of PacBio on the Nasdaq were down 1 percent at $2.63.