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Pacific Biosciences to Gain From New Genome Sequencing Tools

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Pacific Biosciences of California PACB recently announced that it will feature new multiplexing sequencing tools at the upcoming American Society for Microbiology (“ASM”) annual meeting in Atlanta. This will make the process of obtaining microbial genomes highly accurate, faster and more affordable.

Additionally, results of the genome sequencing of more than 3000 dangerous bacteria by Pacific Biosciences, housed at UK’s National Collection of Type Cultures, will also be showcased at the meeting.

The upgraded Sequel System, also known as the PacBio Sequel System, has an increased throughput. It will enable multiple microbes to be sequenced on a single SMRT (Single Molecule, Real-Time) Sequencing Cell in a day, thereby reducing costs. Each microbe will have a unique barcode, which will be incorporated into SMRTbell adapters. This will help in multiplexing.

PacBio Sequel System to Drive Top Line

PacBio includes PacBio RS and PacBio RS II Systems. This is a nucleic acid sequencing platform, based on SMRT technology. It has been a significant contributor to the company’s top line, despite stiff competition from MedTech bigwigs like Illumina, Inc. ILMN and Thermo Fisher Scientific TMO.

At the beginning of 2017, the company released its latest sequencing enzyme and software for the Sequel System.

In fact, in the first quarter of 2018, Sequel bookings have been strong, with the largest number of instruments ordered since 2015. The largest multi-unit sequel order came from China, driven by planned animal sequencing projects.

Moreover, AL-based HudsonAlpha Institute for Biotechnology is currently using the PacBio Sequel to study more than 500 children and their parents. (Read More: Pacific Biosciences Gains as HudsonAlpha Picks Sequel System)

Of the other recent developments in PacBio platform, Radboud University Medical Center in the Netherlands purchased a second Sequel instrument.

Market Prospects

Per a study by MarketsandMarkets, the global Genomics market has been valued at $3.45 billion in 2016 and is expected to grow at a CAGR of 10.2% to reach $3.88 billion by 2022. Growing demand for personalized medicine, growing investments and rise in research activities in the field of genomics propel growth for the market.

Hence, we may conclude that the latest move will be beneficial for Pacific Biosciences.

Price Performance

In the past month, shares of Pacific Biosciences have rallied 23.2%, outperforming the industry’s return of 2.9%.


Zacks Rank & Key Pick

Pacific Biosciences currently carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold).

A better-ranked stock in the broader medical sector is, Abiomed, Inc. ABMD.

Abiomed has an expected long-term earnings growth rate of 27%. The stock currently sports a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy). You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank stocks here.

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