Updates from Pacific Biosciences to its commercial strategy and progress

Pacific Biosciences, a private company developing a disruptive technology platform for real-time detection of biological events at single molecule resolution, today provided a number of updates to its commercial strategy and progress.

First, the company announced that it is expanding its mission to reflect additional applications for its single molecule real time (SMRT™) analysis platform.

“From the early days of our development process and as referenced in our first publication in Science in 2003, we could imagine the transformative power of our technology for a range of applications. The scientific community has responded with overwhelming support for our vision that the SMRT technology platform can extend to enable simpler and more direct solutions for methylation sequencing, RNA sequencing, and even into the largely uncharted territories of real-time observation of protein translation,” said Stephen Turner, Ph.D., Founder and Chief Technology Officer of Pacific Biosciences.

“With development of our SMRT DNA Sequencing System on track for commercial launch next year, we have begun expanding internal research programs and developing collaborations for additional ‘SMRT Biology’ applications that will allow scientists to acquire new, fundamental knowledge about the molecular dynamics of life,” added Dr. Turner.

Roger Kornberg, Ph.D., Nobel Prize winning Professor of Structural Biology at Stanford University and a member of Pacific Biosciences Scientific Advisory Board anticipates that the ability to perform direct RNA sequencing on the Pacific Biosciences SMRT technology platform will radically improve the detection and treatment of infectious diseases.

“The potential for high-throughput, direct RNA sequencing using the technology developed by Pacific Biosciences would have an immediate impact on the ability to more accurately identify viruses, and even their particular subtypes, with the speed necessary to actually have a positive impact on health outcomes,” said Dr. Kornberg. “I believe that Pacific Biosciences is uniquely positioned to address this market with its SMRT technology because of its ability to simultaneously monitor many molecules on a chip and deliver long sequence reads with high specificity at unparalleled speed.”

Pacific Biosciences also announced that it has begun preparing for commercialization by scaling up manufacturing and operations, and building a sales force. To support these efforts, the company has named Pat Brooks as Vice President, North American Sales, and Randy Livingston, who is the Chief Financial Officer for Stanford University, to its Board of Directors.

“To date we have nearly 300 employees, the majority of whom are dedicated to research and development. We are now focused on adding executives, staff and advisors to support our transition to commercial operations,” said Hugh Martin, Chief Executive Officer of Pacific Biosciences. “We are delighted to welcome to our team Pat Brooks, a life sciences technology industry veteran, and Randy Livingston, a distinguished executive whose experience in fiscal and operational management offers great value as we enter this next stage of growth.”

Before joining Pacific Biosciences, Pat Brooks was Vice President of Sales for Affymetrix. Before joining Affymetrix in 2000, he held increasingly responsible sales positions at Amersham/Pharmacia (AP Biotech), including Vice President of Sales and Marketing, Drug Discovery. Previous to AP Biotech he worked in sales and sales management for a number of life science companies, including Millipore, DuPont-NEN, and Sargent Welch Scientific. Mr. Brooks received his B.S. and M.S. degrees from the University of Iowa.

The newest Board member, Randy Livingston, is currently Vice President for Business Affairs and Chief Financial Officer of Stanford University. Before joining Stanford in 2001, Mr. Livingston spent 16 years as a finance, marketing, and corporate development executive for several Silicon Valley companies and six years as a consultant at McKinsey & Company. Mr. Livingston currently serves as a director of Genomic Health, eHealth, Inc., and the Stanford Management Company. Mr. Livingston holds a B.S. in Mechanical Engineering from Stanford University and an M.B.A. from the Stanford Graduate School of Business.


The opinions expressed here are the views of the writer and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of News Medical.
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