How Does Pacific Biosciences Support the Life Sciences?

How Does Pacific Biosciences Support the Life Sciences?

Supporting the Study of DNA, RNA, & Proteins

In an effort to advance molecular biology, there needed to be a new way of studying the synthesis and regulation of DNA, RNA, and proteins. This is exactly what Pacific Biosciences of California, Inc. has accomplished.

Pacific Biosciences is a leading biotechnology manufacturer and solutions provider in the life sciences and healthcare sectors.

Headquartered in Menlo Park, CA, its founders have developed powerful sequencing technologies to provide the most comprehensive views of genomes, transcriptomes, and epigenomes that include the full spectrum of genomics.

This might not be a surprise as its current CEO and President, Christian Henry, formerly served in multiple executive roles at Illumina, Inc.

Pacific Biosciences has since grown to develop real-time analysis of biomolecules, diagnose and develop treatments of diseases, and improve upon the world’s energy and food supply. Suffice to say, Pacific Biosciences is at the forefront of microbiology and genetics and has even played a large role in combating the COVID-19 pandemic.

Pacific Biosciences’ innovation and promise in genome sequencing can be proven by its recent press release in which a $900 million investment from SoftBank was revealed. Since then, Wall Street has reported its financial results of a 25% stock increase for Pacific Biosciences (NASDAQ: PACB) and at the time of publication, a market cap of $6.34B.

Curious to learn more about PacBio sequencing and its products and solutions that contribute to its success? Keep reading to learn more.

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Pacific Biosciences Products & Services

PacBio Sequel Systems

Pacific Bioscience has revolutionized and pioneered single-molecule real-time (SMRT) sequencing technology with its Sequel System family. The systems come in three variants that provide readings based on your needs: the new Sequel IIe System, the Sequel II System, and the original Sequel System.


While there are few differences, they all feature automated consumable handling with integrated software. Setup and monitoring are intuitive, so you won’t waste a lot of time getting the system running. The run time is flexible and you can walk away from the machine for up to 4 days. However, the number of HiFi reads will depend on the sample quality and insert size.

All PacBio Sequel systems aim to provide scientists with high-throughput, accurate long-read sequencing. With comprehensive views of genomes, epigenomes, and transcriptomes, all systems support the full range of SMRT sequencing applications.


PacBio’s gene sequencing prides itself on providing thorough workflows and everything you need to complete your testing. It provides all the consumable components needed to complete SMRT sequencing including sample plates, disposables, septas, and more.

Pacific Biosciences divides its consumables into the following categories:

Analytical Software

Your analytical software must be as robust, if not more competent, than the machinery and equipment in your lab. Pacific Biosciences provides analytical software solutions to complement and facilitate your applications. Everything from whole-genome sequencing to epigenetics sequencing data can be covered. Today, our focus is on two of its most popular software.

  • SMRT Analysis Software: This is your access point to a host of analytical applications. Scientists will enjoy the insightful interface that streamlines the workflows. Bioinformaticians can look forward to optimization for efficient data analysis. It also integrates easily with other systems and LIMS.
  • PacBio DevNet: This software offers open-source, community-developed analytical tools to assist with data interpretation. Example data sets are a part of the package and are released with every SMRT Sequencing System release. To achieve success with the analytical tools, the company has developed a collaborative relationship with the bioinformatics community.

SMRT Compatible Products

Pacific Biosciences has partnered with other biotech and life science leaders in order to provide a 360-degree, fully compatible system. With these partners, you can now have access to more solutions and resources that span:

  • Nucleic acid extraction
  • cDNA synthesis
  • Size selection
  • Template-prep automation
  • Target enrichment
  • Shearing/fragmentation
  • Quality-control instrumentation

A full list of its partners can be found on www.pacb.com.

Pacific Biosciences Applications

Whole Genome Sequencing

Create benchmark reference genomes and get the most complete view of variations with long sequencing. Workflows and tools are available for human biomedical research, plant and animal science, microbiology, and infectious diseases. Variant detection includes single nucleotides, structural variants, indels, and copy number. You can discover more of Pacific Biosciences’ whole genome sequencing solutions and applications in the following categories:

  • Human Whole Genome Sequencing
  • Plant and Animal Whole Genome Sequencing
  • Microbial Whole Genome Sequencing
  • Variant Detection

Targeted Sequencing

Targeted sequencing allows you to detect all variant types that are in the hardest-to-reach spaces of the genome easily and with accurate long-reads (more than 99% single-molecule read accuracy). It applies to the same variants as whole genome sequencing but also includes microsatellites, phased alleles, and haplotypes. You can also sequence through the least complex regions. Targeted sequencing solutions and applications are broken down into the following:

  • Targeted Sequencing for Human Biomedical Research
  • Targeted Sequencing for Plant and Animal Sciences
  • Targeted Sequencing for Microbiology and Infectious Disease Research
  • No-Amp Targeted Sequencing
  • HLA Sequencing

Complex Populations

Characterizing bacterial cells, cancer cells, and viral populations are made easy with Pacific Biosciences’ SMRT sequencing. You can track the evolution in response to different environments, drug treatments, and immune pressures. With SMRT sequencing, you can also closely identify related cells within a heterogeneous sample. What kind of workflows might you implement when it comes to your complex populations? With Pacific Biosciences, you’ll be able to:

  • Resolve virtual populations
  • Characterize microbial communities
  • Detect somatic variations

RNA Sequencing

Generating a long-read, full-length cDNA without assembling is almost unheard of—unless, of course, you are working with single-molecule real-time sequencing and Iso-Seq analysis. You can easily discover new genes, alternative splicing events, and transcripts. You will improve genome annotation for identifying coding regions, gene structures, and regulatory components. Most importantly, you can increase the accuracy of RNA-seq quantification. Pacific Biosciences facilitates your RNA sequencing in these following areas:

  • Human RNA Sequencing
  • RNA Sequencing for Plant and Animal Sciences
  • Single-cell RNA Sequencing


Identify the epigenetic landscape of your genome and detect any changes during sequencing by measuring the kinetic variation during the base incorporation. This removes the need for sample preparation and extra sequencing. By doing this, you will understand the effects of epigenetics on gene expression, environmental responses, host-pathogen exchanges, and DNA damage and repair. Research focus areas include:

  • Microbial Epigenetics
  • Eukaryotic Epigenetics

Accelerate Your Lab’s R&D with Excedr

Researchers and labs across the world need many speed bumps and roadblocks removed so they can get results sooner and more accurately. Pacific Biosciences has developed innovative software, machines, and other products to do just that.

With the support of investors such as SoftBank and Wellcome, Pacific Biosciences is sure to continue blazing the trail in SMRT sequencing and we can expect to see many more great things to come from this company.

So, how does your lab procure the cutting-edge technology and equipment it needs when it doesn’t have a $900 million investment?


Excedr has been a financial savior for many laboratories across the country that are working on a budget. Let us help you procure the lab equipment you need in order to accelerate your R&D efforts. We’ll support you through every step of the way—from negotiation to maintenance, Excedr can alleviate the stress of outfitting your lab.

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