PacBio fosters software community with 3rd-gen sequencer release

With the commercial release of Pacific Biosciences' third-generation sequencer in April come new opportunities for software vendors to provide tools to enhance the utility of the data provided by the machines. In the May/June issue of Bio-IT World, editor Kevin Davies writes about the suite of software that the Menlo Park, CA-based firm ($PACB) has developed for the PacBio RS.

The PacBio RS--which was used to sequence the cholera germ behind the recent outbreak in Haiti--enables researchers a greater ability to understand the complexity of genomic data with speed and long read lengths. To complement the power of this machine, Pacific Biosciences' (PacBio) SMRT software includes a genome browser and an open-source application that enables data from its sequencer to be incorporated with data from other next-generation sequencers, Davies writes.

"We embrace openness," PacBio's Jon Sorenson told Davies. "We have a DevNet website, a developer-based site for getting data and information. Our APIs are very modular in how we approach the system. We want to work with (independent software vendors) and academic collaborators to either plug in their own tools or, vice versa, to promote connectivity and cooperation." 

PacBio's list of genomics software partners already includes CLC bio, DNASTAR, GenoLogics, GenomeQuest, Geospiza and BioTeam. Amazon Web Services is also among PacBio's tech partners, according to the Bio-IT report. As PacBio's sequencers--which reportedly carry a price tag of $700,000--are shipped to more biotechs, pharmas, academic labs and other sequencing outfits, there will obviously be opportunities for those software companies to make their technology and services relevant to new and existing customers in the life sciences industry.

- read the Bio-IT World article

Special Report: Pacific Biosciences - 2009 Fierce 15

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