Pacific Biosciences, the American DNA sequencing company, have announced typically predictable plans for their platform, the Pac Bio RS II.
The company announced on Tuesday that they would focus on “more reads, longer reads, and higher quality data”. Of course, this has been the goal of all sequencing technologies since the 1970s, and many researchers expressed surprise that PacBio seemed to have been following a different strategy up until now.
“With our unique 15% error rate, our aim was to produce a technology that would serve only a small set of niche markets”, sources at the company said. “Therefore, we produced just a few thousand really poor quality, relatively short reads” they continued.
All of this changed in 2012, when a new CEO and Chief Scientific Office joined the company, and introduced the decades old stratgey of actually producing something useful.
“We came in and we took a look at the data, and we asked what the strategy was” said Michael Caterpiller, CEO. “The board thought that their really crappy error rate gave them a unique niche in the market, and that niche needed to be defended. Some in the company actually thought we should increase the error rate, and blow everyone else out of the market in terms of poor quality data” he continued.
“So we thought – why not introduce the strategy of every other sequencing company and increase throughput, read length and quality?” continued Jonas Coolback, chief scientific officer. “It was a revolutionary idea – all of a sudden, we’d made PacBio relevant again. We started producing what researchers had wanted since the very beginning”.
Share prices in PacBio have increased steadily since 2012, and many now see the technology as the future of genome sequencing. “I don’t know why they didn’t do this sooner” said Gordon Gecko of the Satanic Investment Bank.