About Illumina’s acquisition

Illumina (ILMN) and Pacific Biosciences (PACB) announced they have signed an agreement for Illumina to acquire Pacific Biosciences at a price of $8.00 per Pacific Biosciences share, in an all-cash transaction.

The agreement has already been approved by the board of directors of both firms. The acquisition complements Illumina’s sequencing solutions with accurate long-read sequencing capabilities to answer complex genomic questions.

Why the acquisition?

While Illumina’s accurate and economic short-read sequencing platforms address the majority of sequencing applications optimally, select applications, such as de novo sequencing and sequencing of highly homologous regions of genomes, are better addressed with accurate long-reads. By acquiring Pacific BiosciencesIllumina will be positioned to provide integrated workflows and novel innovations that would bring together the best of both technologies. The acquisition is expected to help researchers increase the speed of their discoveries and to enable the clinicians realize many of their unfulfilled dreams regarding managing severe and life-threatening diseases.

Here is how Francis deSouza, President and Chief Executive Officer of Illumina explained the advantages of the acquisition. He said, “PacBio’s unmatched accuracy mirrors that of Illumina’s in short-read sequencing. Combining the two technologies positions us to reach more applications, accelerate the pace of genomic discovery and bolster our innovation engine which has been a hallmark of Illumina since our inception.  PacBio’s relentless pursuit to improve sequencing accuracy, while driving down the cost, underscores the potential of long-reads to expand sequencing to new customers and applications.” 

Here is what Michael Hunkapiller, Ph.D., Chief Executive Officer of Pacific Biosciences said, “Illumina continues to democratize the use of sequencing at an unprecedented rate. Through this combination, thousands of researchers will now have direct access to this technology. Illumina and Pacific Biosciences have shared values and a commitment to innovation. Our complementary sequencing technology, once integrated, will offer customers a new standard of insight and understanding, opening new frontiers of genomic utility.” 

The transaction is subject to approval by the shareholders of Pacific Biosciences, as well as other customary closing conditions, including applicable regulatory approvals.

Illumina expects to close the transaction in mid-2019. 

About Pacific Biosciences

Pacific Biosciences offers sequencing systems to help scientists resolve genetically complex problems. Based on its novel Single Molecule, Real-Time (SMRT®) technology, Pacific Biosciences’ products’ enable: de novo genome assembly to finish genomes in order to more fully identify, annotate and decipher genomic structures; full-length transcript analysis to improve annotations in reference genomes, characterize alternatively spliced isoforms in important gene families, and find novel genes; targeted sequencing to more comprehensively characterize genetic variations; and real-time kinetic information for epigenome characterization.

Pacific Biosciences’ technology provides high accuracy, ultra-long reads, uniform coverage and the ability to simultaneously detect epigenetic changes. PacBio® sequencing systems, including consumables and software, provide a simple, fast, end-to-end workflow for SMRT Sequencing. More information is available at www.pacb.com.

 About Illumina

Illumina is improving human health by unlocking the power of the genome. This genius firm focuses on innovation. It is established as the global leader in DNA sequencing and array-based technologies, serving customers in the research, clinical, and applied markets. Its products, or kits, are being used for applications in the life sciences, oncology, reproductive health, agriculture, and other emerging segments.

To learn more about Illumina, visit www.illumina.com and follow @illumina.

Prohost Observations

We appreciate this move by the firm that we call the engine of the biopharmaceutical revolution. We believe grabbing an opportunity to improve on what is considered excellent has always been believed to be a successful inspired step. This acquisition is great news for the team researchers in both firms. One has can only imagine what these researchers can accomplish together in terms of capabilities and speed of action. It will be great.

This acquisition will offer exciting news for drug developers who are striving to pinpoint more gene-causing diseases and more disease pathways.

The acquisition will also stimulate the clinicians who will welcome the speed of understanding diseases at their root-origins, which would offer them more precise treatments and probable cures.

We love this acquisition for Illumina’s further perfection of its kits,  for Pacific Biosciences’ team of researchers and scientists who will live in the new revolution, and probably contribute to it, and for all the entities expected to benefit from the acquisition.

We will appreciate seeing the desperate patients the highest on the list of the beneficiaries.

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