Pacific Biosciences announced that GrandOmics Biosciences through its subsidiary NextOmics has agreed to purchase five additional Sequel instruments to support China’s precision medicine initiative, with a specific focus on ultimately providing the genetic diagnosis of inherited diseases.

GrandOmics was one of the early commercial sequencing service providers in China to purchase a Sequel System, and previously provided services for de novo genome assembly and full-length transcriptome analysis based on their bioinformatics expertise using the PacBio® RS II system.

Both instruments are based on PacBio’s Single Molecule, Real-Time (SMRT®) Sequencing technology.

“GrandOmics is one of a growing number of customers who have placed multi-instrument orders for the Sequel System,” said Dr. Michael W. Hunkapiller, Chief Executive Officer of Pacific Biosciences.

 “As one of the early users of the Sequel System, they have experienced the performance gains achieved through software and chemistry upgrades, and we appreciate the confidence they have shown in the platform by purchasing multiple additional systems. We believe this is a great endorsement of how well-suited SMRT technology and the Sequel System are for a wide range of applications from de novo genome assembly to clinical research.”

GrandOmics, together with its subsidiary NextOmics, have experience with a number of clinical research applications using SMRT Sequencing technology.

For example, they participated in the HuaXia project to construct the first published, near-complete Asian genome, and developed several approaches, ranging from full-length HLA typing and trinucleotide repeat expansion quantification, to the detection of complex structural variants in inherited diseases.

“We were one of the first Chinese sequencing service providers to focus on PacBio SMRT Sequencing technology, and we have helped our customers complete hundreds of genome and transcriptome sequencing projects on animal, plant, microbial and human genomes since 2012,” said Mr. Depeng Wang, Chief Executive Officer of GrandOmics.

“We plan to deploy our six Sequel Systems in Wuhan and Beijing, and establish a genomics service center based in the US next year to provide services to customers worldwide.”