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Macrogen Selects Single Molecule, Real-Time Sequencing for High-Quality de Novo Asian Human Reference Genomes

MENLO PARK, Calif. and SEOUL, Korea, Sept. 23, 2014 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Pacific Biosciences of California, Inc., (Nasdaq:PACB) provider of the PacBio® RS II DNA Sequencing System, and Macrogen, a global leader in genome sequencing services, announced today that Macrogen has selected the PacBio Single Molecule, Real-Time (SMRT®) Sequencing platform to create high-quality de novo human genome references for the Asian population.

Because the current human genome reference used by the global biomedical research community was predominantly derived from a Caucasian individual, its utility is limited for researchers investigating certain complex diseases that differ genetically between ethnicities. Macrogen, among others, has characterized these differences, for example in the publication of "A highly annotated whole-genome sequence of a Korean individual" in the journal Nature. These publications highlight the limitations of resequencing in building reference genomes that more accurately represent individual and ethnic differences. Macrogen will now use SMRT Sequencing to generate high-quality ethnic genome references de novo.

In addition to the new human genome reference projects, Macrogen will use the two PacBio RS II DNA Sequencing Systems to carry out other important sequencing applications that cannot be done effectively with short-read sequencing technologies. These include full-length transcript sequencing, high-quality de novo assemblies of plant, animal and bacterial genomes, metagenome characterization, and targeting complex regions of the human genome such as the major histocompatibility region (including full-length sequencing of HLA genes).

"The PacBio technology has matured to a point where it is possible, and even advantageous, to use it for human genome applications because it is the only technology that can easily resolve complex regions and uncover genetic variations beyond single nucleotide polymorphisms," said Professor Jeong-Sun Seo, Chairman and founder of Macrogen. "We also expect the PacBio RS II will strengthen our overall sequencing service portfolio and enable Macrogen to offer the widest spectrum of sequencing services."

Michael Hunkapiller, President and CEO of Pacific Biosciences commented: "The PacBio RS II System is the only commercial sequencer that can generate high-quality reference genomes as good as or better than the previous gold standard of Sanger sequencing. We are delighted that Macrogen has decided to adopt our technology to develop more accurate and relevant reference genomes for Asian populations, and to offer the benefits of SMRT Sequencing to its global customer base."

About Macrogen

Macrogen, Inc. (www.macrogen.com), based in Seoul, Korea, is a world leading service provider in high-quality gene analysis and has enjoyed stable and steady growth since 1997. The company's diverse offerings include DNA sequencing, next generation sequencing, microarray analysis, oligonucleotide synthesis, and genetically engineered mice services. In addition, Macrogen has been expanding its business scope into other areas such as molecular diagnostics and consumer genomics. With a global presence, Macrogen operates through U.S. subsidiaries in Rockville, New York, and Cambridge; in the Netherlands in Europe; and, in Tokyo, Japan. Macrogen is listed on the Korea Securities Dealers Automated Quotation (ticker symbol: A038290).

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 and the least degree of bias. 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.

Forward Looking Statements

This press release contains forward-looking statements regarding, among other things, the use of the Company's products for sequencing human and other genomes 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.

CONTACT: For Pacific Biosciences: Media: Nicole Litchfield 415.793.6468 nicole@bioscribe.com Investors: Trevin Rard 650.521.8450 ir@pacificbiosciences.com For Macrogen: Mr. Yonghwan Kang +82-2-2113-7113 snatch@macrogen.comSource:Pacific Biosciences of California, Inc.