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Pacific Biosciences, the Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute and Public Health England Collaborate to Finish Genomes of 3,000 Bacterial Strains

MENLO PARK, Calif., Dec. 3, 2013 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Pacific Biosciences of California, Inc. (Nasdaq:PACB), provider of the PacBio® RS II DNA Sequencing System, today announced it is collaborating with the Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute and Public Health England to complete the sequences of 3,000 bacterial genome strains from PHE's National Collection of Type Cultures (NCTC). Sequencing will be performed at the Sanger Institute. The three-year project could double the number of finished microbial genomes in the GenBank reference database today.

The NCTC is one of the world's premier collections for bacterial strains, but most bacteria in NCTC currently have no genome references. Combining reference genomes with the wealth of historical and biological information existing for these strains will generate a data set of enormous value for basic and clinical microbiology.

Pacific Biosciences' Single Molecule, Real-Time (SMRT) Sequencing technology achieves the industry's longest read lengths and highest consensus accuracy,i,ii greatly improving the ability to finish bacterial genomes. And, because the technology can directly detect base modifications, the epigenomes for bacteria can also be obtained with no additional data acquisition, providing unprecedented insight into the diversity and significance of bacterial methylation and its role in pathogenicity.

"This is a crucial set of reference bacteria, and it is critical to have fully finished genomes for them," said Dr. Julian Parkhill, head of Pathogen Genomics at the Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute. "The collection of 3,000 additional finished genomes, including plasmids and other genomic elements, and epigenomes, will be a wonderful resource for the entire microbiology community."

Jonas Korlach, Ph.D., Chief Scientific Officer for Pacific Biosciences commented: "SMRT Sequencing has become the gold standard for finishing microbial genomes and we are delighted to be part of this NCTC project to add a wealth of information to the public databases for these important microbes."

More information about Pacific Biosciences and SMRT Sequencing is available at: www.pacb.com. Specific information for the microbial research community is available at: www.pacb.com/microbe.

About Pacific Biosciences

Pacific Biosciences of California, Inc. (Nasdaq:PACB) offers the PacBio® RS II DNA Sequencing System to help scientists solve genetically complex problems. Based on its novel Single Molecule, Real-Time (SMRT®) technology, the company's products enable: targeted sequencing to more comprehensively characterize genetic variations; de novo genome assembly to more fully identify, annotate and decipher genomic structures; and DNA base modification identification to help characterize epigenetic regulation and DNA damage. By providing access to information that was previously inaccessible, Pacific Biosciences enables scientists to increase their understanding of biological systems.

Note: The Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute does not endorse commercial products.

Forward Looking Statements

This press release contains forward-looking statements regarding, among other things, the use of the Company's products in bacterial genome and epigenome analysis, the expected benefits of the collaboration with the Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute and Public Health England and other future events. You should not place undue reliance on these forward-looking statements because they involve known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors that are, in some cases, beyond the Company's control and that could materially affect actual results. Factors that could materially affect actual results can be found in the Company's filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission, including the most recently filed Quarterly Report on Form 10-Q, and include those listed under the caption "Risk Factors." The Company expressly disclaims any intent or obligation to update these forward-looking statements, except as required by law.

i Koren et al., "Reducing assembly complexity of microbial genomes with single-molecule sequencing." Genome Biology, 14:R10.1 (2013).

ii Chin et al., "Nonhybrid, finished microbial genome assemblies from long-read SMRT sequencing data." Nature Methods, 10; 563-569 (2013).

CONTACT: For Pacific Biosciences: Media: Maurissa Messier For Pacific Biosciences 760.539.7417 maurissa@bioscribe.com Investors: Trevin Rard Pacific Biosciences 650.521.8450 ir@pacificbiosciences.comSource:Pacific Biosciences of California, Inc.