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Pacific Biosciences Releases Software To Detect DNA Base Modifications Using The PacBio® RS

Stocks in this article: PACB

Pacific Biosciences of California, Inc., (NASDAQ:PACB) today launched a new and unique solution to detect DNA base modifications associated with epigenetic regulation and DNA damage using the PacBio ® RS High Resolution Genetic Analyzer.

DNA base modifications such as methylation have an important role in a wide variety of biological processes such as growth and aging, immunity, bacterial pathogenicity, and disease development. The new analysis software for the PacBio ® RS enables customers to detect and visualize these DNA modifications. The software works by measuring the rate of DNA base incorporation during sequencing. This information, automatically gathered during the sequence process, is a unique feature of the company’s single molecule, real-time (SMRT ®) technology.

“We are pleased to provide the first and only tool that offers researchers worldwide the ability to detect base modifications as an integral part of the sequencing workflow,” said Kevin Corcoran, Senior Vice President of Market Development at Pacific Biosciences. “This is a major milestone for Pacific Biosciences and a valuable new tool for the scientific community.”

The SMRT Analysis software upgrade is available to scientists through a free download from PacBio’s DevNet portal. The analysis tool works on any data generated by the PacBio RS with its latest C2 chemistry, enabling researchers to re-analyze existing data to detect methylation and other base modifications.

More than 20 biologically important DNA base modifications are known, and new types continue to be discovered. The initial software release simplifies the process of detecting these modification events in native genomic DNA through a user-friendly analysis and visualization interface. Guidelines on studying the methylomes of bacteria, including N6-methyladenine and N4-methylcytosine, are also available on the company’s website at

“Modifications such as methylation have been shown to be critical in influencing disease onset and severity, the pathogenicity of bacteria, and gene regulation,” said Eric Schadt, Ph.D., Director of the Institute for Genomics and Multiscale Biology at Mt. Sinai Hospital and Chief Science Officer at Pacific Biosciences. “The work we have done using SMRT sequencing to resolve the German E. coli outbreak strain, for example, points to a crucial role for base modification in the regulation of a gene associated with the strain’s severity. If we aren’t looking at base modifications, we aren’t seeing the whole picture in the biology of pathogens.”

Dr. Schadt is speaking today about his work using the SMRT technology during the President’s Forum at the annual American Society for Microbiology’s 112 th General Meeting in San Francisco. The talk is entitled, “Whole-genome Characterization of Methyladenine Residues in Highly Pathogenic Strains of E. coli and V. cholerae and Their Impact on Function.”

About Pacific Biosciences

Pacific Biosciences of California, Inc. (NASDAQ: PACB) offers the PacBio ® RS, a high resolution genetic analyzer, to help scientists solve genetically complex problems. Based on its novel single molecule, real-time (SMRT ®) technology, the company’s products enable: targeted sequencing to more comprehensively characterize genetic variations; de novo genome assembly to more fully identify, annotate and decipher genomic structures; and DNA base modification identification to help characterize epigenetic regulation and DNA damage. By providing access to genetic information that was previously inaccessible, Pacific Biosciences enables scientists to increase their understanding of biological systems.

Forward-Looking Statements

This press release contains forward-looking statements. Forward-looking statements may contain words such as "believe," "may," "estimate," "anticipate," "continue," "intend," "expect," "plan," the negative of these terms, or other similar expressions, and include the assumptions that underlie such statements. Such statements include, but are not limited to, statements regarding the Company’s SMRT technology. These statements are subject to known and unknown risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially from those expressed or implied by such statements, including but not limited to risks discussed from time to time in documents Pacific Biosciences of California, Inc. has filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission, including the risks identified under the section captioned "Risk Factors" in its recently filed Quarterly Report on Form 10-Q. All forward-looking statements are based on estimates, projections and assumptions as of the date hereof. Pacific Biosciences undertakes no obligation to update any forward-looking statements.

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