HistoGenetics Selects PacBio(R) DNA Sequencing Platform to Enhance Human Leukocyte Antigen (HLA) Typing

MENLO PARK, Calif., April 29, 2014 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Pacific Biosciences of California, Inc., (Nasdaq:PACB) and HistoGenetics, a global leader in Human Leukocyte Antigen (HLA) sequence-based typing (SBT), announced today that HistoGenetics has selected the PacBio DNA Sequencing platform for its unique ability to sequence full-length HLA genes and to provide fully phased HLA alleles. HistoGenetics has purchased two PacBio RS II DNA Sequencing systems, which will be used for HLA typing and will be evaluated as potential replacements for Sanger sequencing.

Comprehensive characterization of an individual's HLA type is important for research in tissue transplantation matching, autoimmune disease-association studies, drug hypersensitivity research, and other applications. The HLA genes are highly polymorphic, containing thousands of alleles that code for proteins that are important for recognizing foreign antigens. Accurate phasing of HLA polymorphisms using Sanger and short-read sequencing technologies has previously required confirmation, incurring additional expense. These methods also suffer from ambiguous calls when imputation data is required. The long read lengths (tens of thousands of bases) provided by PacBio sequencing are ideally suited for accurate allele-level genotyping since unambiguous allele phasing is critical for high-resolution allele assignment.

"As a leader in the HLA typing market, we aggressively seek out technologies that can accurately analyze this complex region of the genome. With its industry-leading read lengths, accuracy, and fast turnaround time, PacBio's sequencing platform is exactly what this market needs," said Dr. Nezih Cereb, Chief Executive Officer and co-founder of HistoGenetics. "We are eager to use our new PacBio RS II machines to get comprehensive, novel views of the HLA region and other genes relevant to immunology, such as KIR."

Michael Hunkapiller, President and CEO of Pacific Biosciences commented: "The PacBio RS II system is the only commercial sequencer that can work through highly complex regions of the genome, and customers routinely tell us that it enables them to see genetic elements they have never been able to see before. As HistoGenetics applies this technology for HLA typing research, we believe they too will find novel insights that will be immensely useful to the biomedical research community."

About HistoGenetics

HistoGenetics (www.histogenetics.com) is the global leader in HLA sequence-based typing (SBT). As a pioneer the field, the company has provided its services for donor registries, donor centers, cord blood banks, transplant centers, HLA laboratories and pharmacogenomics applications. To date, HistoGenetics has performed more than 14 million SBTs and discovered 19,000 samples carrying new alleles. The company was founded by Dr. Soo Young Yang, who serves as Chairman, and Dr. Nezih Cereb, Chief Executive Officer.

About the PacBio RS II and SMRT® Sequencing

Pacific Biosciences' Single Molecule, Real-Time (SMRT) Sequencing technology achieves the industry's longest read lengths, highest consensus accuracy i, iiand the least degree of bias.iii These characteristics, combined with the ability to detect many types of DNA base modifications (e.g., methylation) as part of the sequencing process, make the PacBio RS II an essential tool for many scientists studying genetic and genomic variation. The PacBio platform provides a sequencing solution that can address a growing number of complex medical, agricultural and industrial problems.

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.

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).

iii Ross et al. Characterizing and measuring bias in sequence data. Genome Biol 14: R51 (2013).

CONTACT: Media: Nicole Litchfield For Pacific Biosciences 415.793.6468 nicole@bioscribe.com Investors: Trevin Rard Pacific Biosciences 650.521.8450 ir@pacificbiosciences.comSource:Pacific Biosciences of California, Inc.