PacBio gets $50M investment from Gen-Probe

Pacific Biosciences--a company that's never had any trouble raising money--has received a $50 million investment from molecular diagnostics firm Gen-Probe. The funding is part of a larger Series F private round of financing.

The two companies will explore development of a clinical diagnostics systems using PacBio's Single Molecule Real Time (SMRT) platform and Gen-Probe's expertise in diagnostics. PacBio's SMRT platform will be able to sequence a whole genome in five to 30 minutes, rather than the current eight to 10 days. Gen-Probe and Pacific Biosciences will initially collaborate exclusively for 30 months on diagnostic products, and have the right to purchase certain of each others' products on preferential terms.

"We see a significant opportunity for our SMRT platform in the molecular diagnostics market and are taking a proactive and strategic approach by collaborating with Gen-Probe, a proven leader in developing fully automated instrument systems for nucleic acid testing," said PacBio CEO Hugh Martin in a statement. "We believe Gen-Probe's expertise in instrument systems engineering and sample preparation, combined with their capabilities in clinical and regulatory affairs, will help us maximize the potential of our sequencing technology to benefit human health." PacBio was a 2009 Fierce 15 winner.

- check out Gen-Probe's release
- read the BusinessWeek story for more