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Pacific Biosciences Says More Sequencers in Development Pipeline, Outlines Future Growth Plans

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This story has been updated to correct information about Pacific Biosciences' long-term financial expectations and to add information about planned sequencers.

NEW YORK – Pacific Biosciences said on Tuesday that it is developing both a new ultra-high-throughput and a lower-throughput benchtop long-read sequencer, as well as a next-generation short-read sequencer, as part of its strategy to further diversify its product portfolio.

The announcement, made at the firm's inaugural investor day held at the St. Regis hotel in New York City, came merely weeks after PacBio’s launch — bolstered by the presence of pop band Maroon 5 — of its high-throughput long-read platform, Revio, as well as its short-read instrument, Onso.

Revio, with 25 million zero-mode waveguides (ZMWs) — a proprietary nanotechnology that enables PacBio’s single-molecule, real-time sequencing — packed into each SMRT cell, already promises to have 15 times higher HiFi read throughput than the current Sequel IIe system.

Yet, the ultra-high-throughput sequencer "will make Revio looks like a mid-throughput platform," PacBio CEO Christian Henry told investors. In subsequent presentations, company officials offered glimpses of the platform — projected to fit at least twice as many ZMWs on each SMRT cell than Revio, it is expected to deliver tens of thousands of genomes per year.

Meanwhile, the low-throughput benchtop sequencer will aim to make the company’s long-read technology more broadly accessible to researchers, Henry said. He did not elaborate much on the next version of a short-read, sequencing-by-binding sequencer. 

The company did not share additional details about any of the planned new instruments, including a timeline for their development.

Besides the product roadmap, PacBio executives made clear that driving the adoption of the Revio and Onso platforms — either by converting existing customers or garnering new ones — are among the firm’s top business priorities.

Revio sales are "off to a great start," with several multi-unit orders already received fromcustomers around the world, especially from the Asia-Pacific region, according to Jeff Eidel, PacBio's chief commercial officer. Eidel highlighted some of these customers, including the Broad Institute, HudsonAlpha Institute for Biotechnology, Macrogen, Berry Genomics, GrandOmics, DNA Link, HaoRui Genomics, and JMDNA.

Similarly, Henry said he expects Revio, which the company plans to ship in the first quarter of next year, will deliver the fastest sales growth for the company in the short term. He did not disclose the current number of Revio orders, though, and said the company still needs to get a handle on the consumable pull-through for the platform.

In terms of instrument bundling, Henry said PacBio currently offers two options: One is to purchase a Sequel IIe with the opportunity to switch to Revio once its available, the other a bundle order of Revio and Onso.

Beyond sequencers, it was obvious that PacBio is trying to establish an ecosystem for its technology. To that end, David Miller, PacBio VP of product marketing, highlighted the company’s partnerships, including with Hamilton, Miroculus, the Broad Institute, Twist Biosciences, Google Health, DNAnexus, and DNA Stack, for various companion offerings to enhance its sequencing workflow.

Looking forward, the company's core strategies include penetrating the human health and multiomic markets while promoting PacBio’s adoption by clinical labs. Company management also told investors that the firm’s future growth will be driven by business opportunities such as whole-genome sequencing, RNA sequencing, as well as targeted human genome sequencing and oncology.

The firm offered its near-term and long-term financial expectations as well, which include 40 percent to 50 percent compound annual growth rate (CAGR), leading to over $500 million in annual revenue and a positive cash flow in 2026.

Some investors appeared to react favorably to PacBio’s messages. Calling the investor day "impressive" in their analyst note, Kyle Mikson and Alex Vukasin from Canaccord Genuity reiterated their Buy rating for PacBio and increased their price target from $12 to $14. Similarly, analysts from Cowen said in their note that they increased their price target from $8 to $14 in response to "a solid day and outlook."

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