The long-awaited public stock offer from third-generation sequencing technology company Pacific Biosciences has finally arrived (here’s the SEC filing, and coverage from Matthew Herper and GenomeWeb).
PacBio has already raised almost US$400 million in venture capital, and aims to increase this by up to US$200 million from its share offering. The sheer scale of these figures gives you a sense of just how much money is being thrown around in the race towards ever cheaper, faster and more accurate DNA sequencing machines. Of course, whether investors will decide to throw more money in PacBio’s direction remains to be seen.
The sequencing arms race has been heating up in other areas too: two weeks ago, sequencing service provider Complete Genomics also filed for a public offering – and was promptly sued by established competitor Illumina for alleged infringement of two patents.
Why did Illumina wait until after Complete’s announcement to launch the law-suit? Obviously we don’t know for sure, but the timing sure looks like a seriously impressive piece of evil genius: unsettled litigation is liable to make investors nervous, but restrictions on the public statements companies can make after announcing a public offering mean Complete is basically unable to defend itself in the media.
Interesting times indeed…