2021-08-03| M&A

PacBio Bolsters its Long-Read Sequencing Workflow, Makes Second Acquisition in Two Weeks

by Rajaneesh K. Gopinath
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Just two weeks ago Pacific Biosciences (PacBio) announced plans to acquire sequencing startup, Omniome Inc. to enter into the short-read sequencing market. Today, the company has made another buy to bolster its stronghold in long-read sequencing. On August 3rd, the Menlo Park-based company acquired Circulomics Inc., another startup, for an undisclosed amount.

Circulomics is a long-read sample prep company recognized by experts as a leader in extracting high-quality, high molecular weight (HMW) DNA from almost any sample type. The Maryland-based biotech, which spun out of John Hopkins University in 2009, caters to approximately 700 customers worldwide. Its sample prep solutions are used across a diverse set of markets including, human biomedical research, plant and animal sciences, and microbiology.


Nanobind HMW DNA Extraction Technology

Several large sequencing initiatives have used Circulomics’ Nanobind extraction kit, the most notable being the NIH Intramural Center for Alzheimer’s and Related Dementias, which have used it for DNA extraction from blood and brain samples.

With this acquisition, PacBio will integrate Circulomics’ proprietary tech to improve its entire long-read sequencing workflow. It is worth noting that the long-read DNA sequencing market is expected to grow to $2.5 billion by the year 2022.

“One of our core strategies is to improve the front end of our sequencing workflows. The Nanobind technology that Circulomics has created is already proven in the market and will accelerate our efforts to make sample extraction and library preparation easier for our customers,” said Christian Henry, CEO, and President at PacBio.

In a separate press release, PacBio also announced its second-quarter revenue, which was $30.6 million, a 79% increase compared to the $17.1 million it made in the second quarter of 2020. It also reported a gross profit of $13.8 million, representing a 108% increase to $6.6 million registered in the second quarter of 2020.


What is an HMW DNA?

HMW DNA ranges from 50 to 300+ kilobases in length, which is an ideal size for long-read sequencing with PacBio or other long-read sequencing platforms. Circulomics’ Nanobind magnetic disks protect DNA from shearing to generate long reads across a broad range of sample types. Their products can be used to sequence a wide range of samples from cells, bacteria, and fungi, to plants, insects, fish, mammals, and reptiles.

“We built a company of scientists who bend over backwards to help our customers generate beautiful sequencing data. Our goal has always been to build products that enable customers to focus on science rather than stress over sample prep. Through collaborations with PacBio, we know we share the same values and obsession with customer success,” said Dr. Kelvin Liu, Founder, and CEO at Circulomics. “Joining PacBio is such a natural fit. We’re excited to work together to push the boundaries of genomics.”

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