This story was originally published Feb. 2.
Pacific Biosciences said last week that it has partnered with 13 more companies and organizations on products and services upstream and downstream of its sequencing platform, as it continues to prepare for the commercial release of the PacBio RS during the first half of this year.
On automation and microfluidics, PacBio has teamed up with Beckman Coulter, Hamilton, and Tecan. For shearing and fragmentation, new partners are Covaris, Diagenode, Digilab, and Microsonic Systems; for DNA size selection, Sage Science; and for data analysis and cloud computing, Biomatters, DNAnexus, DNAStar, the developers of Galaxy, and Genomatix Software.
PacBio first announced its partner program a year ago (IS 2/16/2010). At that time, it teamed up with 11 companies who agreed to develop sample-preparation and data-handling products, protocols, and services that were compatible with its platform.
The company said it has begun to upgrade beta instruments at early-access customer sites to commercial instruments, and will continue to optimize the sequencing chemistry, perform verification and validation of the system, and upgrade the software.
In the meantime, PacBio and its partners and early-access customers have used the system for various applications. In collaboration with RainDance Technologies and PacBio, for example, researchers led by Frederic Bushman at the University of Pennsylvania used the system to study splice variants in HIV by targeted sequencing in order to better understand mechanisms of viral replication.
Also, PacBio's partner and investor Gen-Probe has used the company's system to characterize hepatitis C virus and HLA.