In 1998, Illumina was founded on the idea that understanding human DNA would transform health. Since then, the company has grown into a global leader in genomics and their acquisition of Pacific Biosciences for $1.2 billion will help them move toward the future of sequencing.
While the company possesses the technology for accurate and economic short-read sequencing, Illumina’s pursuit for a more complete picture of a genome led them to look at Pacific Biosciences platforms for long-read sequencing. With PacBio’s Sequel SMRT Technology and Illumina’s infrastructure, the company will be able to advance biological discovery in new and exciting ways.
“PacBio’s unmatched accuracy mirrors that of Illumina’s in short-read sequencing. Combining the two technologies positions us to reach more applications, accelerate the pace of genomic discovery and bolster our innovation engine which has been a hallmark of Illumina since our inception,” said Francis deSouza, President and Chief Executive Officer of Illumina.
Illumina is a headquartered in San Francisco, US, and offers a wide array of services and products for sequencing, genotyping, gene expression and proteomics. Their life sciences tools and integrated systems have revolutionized research and study by making their services more widely available. By 2014, the company held more than 70 percent of the market share for genome sequencing machines and 90 percent of all DNA data produced.
“Illumina continues to democratize the use of sequencing at an unprecedented rate. Through this combination, thousands of researchers will now have direct access to this technology,” said Michael Hunkapiller, Ph.D., Chief Executive Officer of Pacific Biosciences.
The acquisition agreement has been approved by both companies’ board of directors but is still subject to approval of Pacific BioSciences’ shareholders – along with other customary closing conditions. Illumina anticipates the deal will be concluded by mid-2019.