Ebb & Flow

In the largest untranched biotech financing this year, genome sequencing company Pacific Biosciences (formerly Nanofluidics) raised $100 million last week in a series E round. The company now has raised $178 million since it was founded in 2004.

The proceeds are intended to take the company through commercialization of its single-molecule, real-time (SMRT) DNA genome sequencing technology in 2010.

Pacific Biosciences is one of the companies that has received a challenge grant from the National Human Genome Research Institute to develop technology to enable whole genome sequencing for $1,000.

The company hopes that its technology will lead to the “mass customization of medicine,” in which genomic analysis is available as part of routine medical care for as low as $100, according to Sue Siegel of Mohr Davidow Ventures, which founded Pacific Biosciences.

“We believe that it can go into the IPO market if the environment and everything is right, but I don’t think anyone would say that’s our only option. I don’t think there will be any lack of suitors,” she said.

The financing was co-led by Deerfield Capital and Intel Capital. Other new investors included Morgan Stanley, Redmile Group, T. Rowe Price, and another undisclosed large financial institution.

All previous investors participated in the financing, including Mohr Davidow, Kleiner

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