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Pacific Biosciences Posts $140M Loss, $1.7M in Revenues for 2010

By a GenomeWeb staff reporter

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb News) – Pacific Biosciences reported after the close of the market Tuesday an increase in its grant revenues for the fourth quarter and full-year 2010, and a $140.2 million loss for the year as it prepares for the commercial launch of its PacBio RS system.

The Menlo Park, Calif.-based firm reported fourth-quarter revenues of $280,000, up from $220,000 for the fourth quarter of 2009. All of its Q4 and FY 2010 revenues are from government grants.

PacBio anticipates commercial launch of its first product — the real-time, single-molecule PacBio RS sequencing system — in the second quarter of this year.

Its net loss for the quarter was $36.4 million, or $.97 per share. The firm, which went public in October 2010, raising around $200 million, did not provide comparable figures for the fourth quarter of 2009. However, it noted that its net loss for the quarter ended Sept. 30, 2010 was $40.7 million, or $39.70 per share.

PacBio's R&D spending for the quarter was $26.5 million, while its SG&A spending was $10.3 million.

For full-year 2010, PacBio had revenues of $1.7 million, up sharply from revenues of $135,000 for full-year 2009.

The firm noted that it had an order backlog of around $24 million as of Dec. 31, which included "delivered limited production release versions of the PacBio RS and orders for full commercial release versions of the PacBio RS received as of that date."

Its net loss for the year was $140.2 million, or $14.10 per share, compared to a net loss of $87.7 million, or $173.03 per share, for FY 2009. PacBio said the increased loss is due to increased purchases of materials needed for manufacturing its prototype instruments and consumable products, as well as increased costs associated with expansion of its sales, service, and manufacturing operations.

The firm's R&D spending for the year was $111.8 million compared to $75.9 million for 2009, while its SG&A expenses jumped to $30.1 million from $12.3 million year over year.

During the year, PacBio added 135 employees, bringing its total number of employees to 431 as of the end of 2010.

PacBio finished 2010 with $283.7 million in cash and investments.

CEO Hugh Martin said during a conference call following the release of the financial results that at the recent Advances in Genome Biology and Technology conference he was "very pleasantly surprised with the interest and enthusiasm [beta site users] had for the platform and the data that they were seeing."

For example, he cited researchers from Monsanto who told him that they could not previously get a good snapshot of what's going on at chromosome ends, but with the PacBio technology "they could sequence right through it" and were excited about that.

Martin was asked during the call about the current funding environment and what effect that might have on the firm. "On a relative basis, are numbers are really small," he replied. "We're not seeing any effect of either possible flattening or sometimes increasing in governmental spending … coupled with that, we are in large part enabling new applications, and so though we may be competing for the dollars, we're typically not competing for the same applications or technology."

In addition, he said PacBio is seeing "tremendous interest" from markets outside of the US.

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