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PacBio Shares Jump On BGI Order

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb) – Pacific Biosciences shares were up more than 16 percent in Thursday morning trade at $3.14 on news that Chinese sequencing firm BGI had ordered 10 of its Sequel systems.

The order will "allow BGI to meet the growing demand for SMRT Sequencing services for bacterial, plant, and animal de novo, transcriptomics, and epigenomics sequencing, and also in fields outside of agriculture, such as in conservation biology," BGI Tech CEO Gao Qiang said in a statement.

In particular, Qiang noted that the firm would use the instruments as part of its plan to sequence 27 orders and 157 families of mammals, which it has called the Life Periodic Plan.

Over the last year, PacBio has seen its business in China grow. Novogene, a Beijing-based sequencing service provider, is now PacBio's largest customer, with 20 Sequel systems, PacBio CEO Mike Hunkapiller has previously noted. Hunkapiller has attributed its success in China in part becuase customers there are more focused on the plant and animal sequencing space compared to customers in the US, and long reads are particularly useful for those genomes, which are often large and polyploidy.