This was a bit of a shocker for me as why would Roche buy Genia instead of PACB with whom they already of a contract with. Here is the write up on Genia:
Genia Technologies, Inc. is a privately held company located in Mountain View, CA. Founded in March 2009, Genia is developing a potentially disruptive next generation sequencing technology with integrated circuits enabling massively parallel, single-molecule DNA sequencing. Its versatile nanopore-based platform allows for single molecule, electrical real-time analysis without the need for complicated optics, labels, amplification, or fluidics. The heart of Genia’s technology is a semiconductor integrated circuit where an automated assembly of nanopores in a lipid bilayer allows for the measurement of single molecules. Genia’s sensor technology and its proprietary NanoTag chemistry enables accurate base calls, overcoming many of the limitations faced by other nanopore-based sequencing efforts.
Why would Roche buy PACB when they already have an iron clad deal in writing with them giving them exclusive rights to PACB technology for cancer diagnostics applications, and they paid peanuts for it?
$700M tool requiring reinforced floor and specialized facilities to run vs. a laptop instrument? Plus, they are not abandoning one, merely spreading their bets. PACB gets them something today (assuming they release their rumored desktop instrument), Genia covers them for the future.