Illumina buys Pacific Biosciences for $1.2 billion: why

Illumina, the company that makes the machines that sequence the vast majority of human genomes, is buying a smaller competitor called Pacific Biosciences for $1.2 billion.

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Illumina had previously made an investment in a UK-based company called Oxford Nanopore, which also uses long-read technologies to sequence DNA. The two companies ended up in court in a patent tussle.

An Illumina spokesperson could not immediately be reached for comment. In a statement, the company’s CEO said the combination of the two technologies “positions us to reach more applications, accelerate the pace of genomic discovery and bolster our innovation engine.”

“Through this combination, thousands of researchers will now have direct access to this technology,” Michael Hunkapiller, CEO of Pac Bio, explained in a statement.

The deal is expected to close in mid-2019.

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