Two sides of the same coin--reminds me of American Politics--Dems/Repubs on opposite sides of the SAME COIN. And the coin gets tarnished & worn with age as time goes by.
I'm real interested about your comment on #2 that this is the Achilles heel of PACB. I've been trying to sort out the pros & cons of the various competing technologies and its mind-numbing work for a person who is NOT well versed in the biological sciences
The PACB equipment needs to be capable of fast, high-quality reads if they ever intend to crack the human diagnostic market. I'm sure they are not there yet.
However as I understand the roadmap for the next-gen system ( their projecting 2014 for this) the version 2 SMRT "BIG BOX" will have better throughput , while the smaller , cheaper "LITTLE BOX" will have lower throughput. Here is their statement:
"PacBio is targeting to launch V2 technology beginning in 2014, with a portfolio of
two FDA approved systems. The system will be a high-throughput platform
optimized for whole human sequence (several-fold coverage) in 15 minutes or less,
while the low-throughput system will be a sub-$50K point-of-care instrument with
the footprint of a “small copier.” PacBio plans to target the high-throughput platform
to core labs and large genome centers, whereas the low-throughput instrument will
be marketed to clinical labs and even physician offices for diagnostic applications."
So basically it seems they are NOT concerned about High throughput for the cheaper, clinical diagnostic LITTLE BOX.
Sorting out the relevance of any of this is what analysts get paid for. I think its a LOT harder to do in this field then many other high-tech areas. That may explain why you don't see much decent analysis coming down the pike to us investors.
Thanks for contributing. This is a quiet board, not much activity. I'm sure it will pick up, and (usually) the post quality will be inversely proportional to the post quantity!
OK, let me be very specific to make sure we are not arguing two sides of the same coin:
1) Combining long reads with short reads is very helpful for de-novo sequencing. You use the (noisy) long read as a scaffold on which to assemble the high-quality short segments. However, this is a niche market and I am told by people in the field that even the biggest genomic centers do not need more than 1-2 machines for this.
2) One of the main commercial applications of genomics, if it ever develops, will be clinical in humans. Since there you already have the basic skeleton you do not need long reads to aid in the arrangement. You need high-quality high-throughput short reads to look for specific mutations. This is PACB's achilles heel, as best as I can tell.
For #2 PACB still has a bit to offer since they are less susceptible to deletion errors from homopolymers than the "flush & scan" methods. Not working in the field it is difficult for me to judge whether this is enough of an advantage to sustain them. With $400M in venture capital and another $200M from the IPO, PACB cannot afford to be a niche player selling $10M worth of instruments per year.
Its been demonstrated that combining Long Reads + Short reads gives a better result then either one individually.
So, I'd say your comment that PACB is non-competitive doesn't hold water.
If you have proof to support your statement that:
" one is clearly better off with high throughput and short segments"
please share it.
I wish I could quantify the future demand for sequencers. If you take a look @ the paper I posted under the "Great read" topic you will find some decent projections from the people who participated in the survey.And they are all IN the field.
I can only add an anecdote for folks to ponder. In the early days of supercomputers-early-to-mid 1970's when a Cray-1 computer was the top of the heap , the projected market was felt to be ~ 10 to 12 units. Cray sold about 10X that many machines.
Not only was the total size of the market grossly underestimated, but the future processing speeds were simply not even imagined. Apply the same scenario to the Gene Sequencing market and try and grasp what a paradigm shift of the same order will do for the company or companies that get it right.
Ah, yes Mr Spook. I remember you from the LVLT board. A lot more civility on this board, but not as many posters.
Can't recall, but didn't you go all the way back to the CORV/BWNG days of LVLT ??
Lets just hope that we have guessed right on PACB.
Best of luck !