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PacBio Announces Onso, the Highly Accurate Short-Read Sequencing Platform

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PacBio (NASDAQ: PACB) has announced the commencement of external beta testing of the Onso™ Sequencing System. This innovative benchtop short-read DNA sequencing platform is expected to provide an extraordinary level of accuracy by utilizing PacBio’s unique sequencing by binding (SBB) technology.


“We are excited to see how researchers will leverage the ground-breaking sequencing accuracy that we expect the Onso system to deliver. Upon the launch, we expect to become the only company that we know of to offer both highly accurate, native short- and long-read sequencing technologies, which will enable us to offer more complete solutions to our customers’ challenges,” said Christian Henry, President and Chief Executive Officer of PacBio. “The Onso Sequencing System is designed to deliver highly accurate sequencing reads and support scalable, flexible, and cost optimized operation, and enable customers to feel more confident in their science. This system is designed to be a game changer for the genomics industry, and we’re excited to begin shipping beta systems to our beta partners.”


PacBio expects to begin taking orders for Onso in the first quarter of 2023 and expects to begin shipments of the system in the first half of 2023 upon completion of the external beta program. PacBio has chosen three beta testing sites for the Onso Sequencing System: The Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard, Corteva Agriscience, and Weill Cornell Medicine. Through the beta testing, scientists will be able to test Onso’s specifications and provide critical feedback to PacBio.


The Onso Sequencing System has been designed for compatibility with the rich ecosystem of products currently available for short-read sequencers and supports a diverse set of library preparation types, single cell analysis solutions, whole-genome sequencing and other targeted methods, such as amplicon and hybridization capture panels. It is anticipated to deliver 500 million reads per run and offer 200 and 300 cycle kits enabling paired and single end reads, at a list price of US $259,000 per system.


“We believe the differentiated accuracy and workflow will allow scientists to process many more samples with the same output as other on-market short-read sequencing platforms,” said Mark Van Oene, Chief Operations Officer at PacBio. “The Onso Sequencing System is expected to bring a new standard of data quality and efficiency that allows for better interrogation of the genome without over-sequencing and complicated error correction methods. In oncology research applications, we are excited to demonstrate Onso’s extraordinary sensitivity and specificity for studying genetic variants and for advancing the development of diagnostic tools to improve therapy selection and recurrence monitoring.”


“We are excited to see continued innovation in the sequencing technology landscape,” says Stacey Gabriel, Chief Genomics Officer and Senior Director of the Genomics Platform at the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard. “Improved accuracy and the ability to call challenging variants will be particularly important as we continue to refine targeted areas of the genome that harbor actionable and other clinically relevant variants.”


“The high accuracy of the new Onso system from PacBio opens new opportunities for Agricultural Biotechnology,” said Gina Zastrow-Hayes, Biotechnology and GT-Genomics Technology Manager at Corteva Agriscience. “We look forward to bringing the technology in-house and applying it to applications such as gene editing specificity analysis that can benefit from increased accuracy.”


PacBio has also posted a presentation to its website with additional details about the Onso system. Interested parties can access the presentation on PacBio’s Investor Relations website, here and product information here.