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Pacific Biosciences Chief Scientist Heads to NYC to Run New $100M Genomics Center at Mount Sinai School of Medicine



5/16/2011 7:10:26 AM

MENLO PARK, Calif. & NEW YORK--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Mount Sinai School of Medicine (Mount Sinai) and Pacific Biosciences of California, Inc. (NASDAQ: PACB) announced a bi-coastal collaboration to advance clinical research through the Mount Sinai Institute for Genomics and Multiscale Biology to be led by Eric E. Schadt, Ph.D. The Institute is the hub of genomics research at Mount Sinai, collaborating with 13 other disease oriented and core technology based Institutes at Mount Sinai. One of the world’s foremost experts in computational biology, Dr. Schadt will direct the Institute, and also continue in his role as Chief Scientific Officer of Pacific Biosciences.

As part of the collaboration, a Single Molecule Real Time (SMRT™) Biology User Facility will be established within the Institute. Developed by Pacific Biosciences, SMRT technology allows for the real-time analysis of biomolecules with single molecule resolution, providing a window into biological processes that has not previously been open for study.

“The large-scale generation and integration of multiple sources of biological data combined with clinical information will expand our ability to characterize disease, and ultimately help develop and improve the diagnosis and treatment of patients. This is the primary research mission of Mount Sinai School of Medicine,” said Dennis S. Charney, M.D., Dean of Mount Sinai School of Medicine. “With unprecedented access to Pacific Biosciences’ revolutionary technology and under the direction of Dr. Schadt, the Institute for Genomics and Multiscale Biology will be at the forefront of the revolution in genetics and genomic sciences, which will fundamentally change the practice of medicine.”

Dr. Schadt is an expert on the generation and integration of very large-scale sequence variation, molecular profiling and clinical data in disease populations for constructing molecular networks that define disease states and link molecular biology to physiology. His research has provided novel insights into what is needed to master diverse, large-scale data collected on normal and disease populations in order to elucidate the complexity of disease and make more informed decisions in the drug discovery arena. He has contributed to a number of discoveries relating to the genetic basis of common human diseases such as diabetes and obesity, which have been widely published in leading scientific journals.

“The alliance between PacBio and Mount Sinai, and my dual role working with both organizations, will allow us to bring together the components required to catapult a new paradigm for clinical research and translational medicine,” said Dr. Schadt. “Multiscale data integration, including genomic, expression, metabolite, protein, and clinical information, will ultimately define the future of patient care. With our intent to collaborate in areas such as newborn screening for rare genetic disorders, infectious diseases and cancer we hope to accelerate this revolution, starting by integrating clinical data with previously untapped biological information to build new computational models for predicting human disease.”

Dr. Schadt is also a founding member of Sage Bionetworks, an open access genomics initiative designed to build and support databases and an accessible platform for creating innovative dynamic disease models. Prior to joining Pacific Biosciences in 2009, he was Executive Scientific Director of Genetics at Rosetta Inpharmatics, a subsidiary of Merck & Co., Inc. in Seattle. Prior to joining Rosetta, Dr. Schadt was a Senior Research Scientist at Roche Bioscience. He received his B.A. in applied mathematics and computer science from California Polytechnic State University, his M.A. in pure mathematics from University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), and his Ph.D. in bio-mathematics from UCLA.

The SMRT Biology User Facility at Mount Sinai will be equipped with research and development versions of the PacBio SMRT technology platforms. These systems, called Astros, have been used by Pacific Biosciences and its collaborators to examine a number of important biological processes including DNA sequencing, direct RNA sequencing, protein translation and ligand binding. The SMRT systems will be available for use by the Mount Sinai Institute for Genomics and Multiscale Biology and other collaborators located in the eastern half of the United States. Pacific Biosciences will also continue to engage in SMRT biology research collaborations from its headquarters in California.

“With a strong commitment, shared vision, and extensive access to patient samples, we believe Mount Sinai is a perfect partner to help realize the promise of SMRT technology in clinical applications,” said Hugh Martin, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Pacific Biosciences.

For more information about Mount Sinai School of Medicine and the Institute for Genomics and Multiscale Biology, please visit http://www.mssm.edu. For more information about Pacific Biosciences, please visit www.pacificbiosciences.com.

About The Mount Sinai Medical Center

The Mount Sinai Medical Center encompasses both The Mount Sinai Hospital and Mount Sinai School of Medicine. Established in 1968, Mount Sinai School of Medicine is one of few medical schools embedded in a hospital in the United States. It has more than 3,400 faculty in 32 departments and 15 institutes, and ranks among the top 20 medical schools both in National Institute of Health funding and by U.S. News & World Report. The school received the 2009 Spencer Foreman Award for Outstanding Community Service from the Association of American Medical Colleges.

About Pacific Biosciences

Pacific Biosciences’ mission is to transform the way humankind acquires, processes and interprets data from living systems through the design, development and commercialization of innovative tools for biological research. The company has developed a novel approach to studying the synthesis and regulation of DNA, RNA and proteins. Combining recent advances in nanofabrication, biochemistry, molecular biology, surface chemistry and optics, Pacific Biosciences has created a powerful technology platform called single molecule, real-time, or SMRT™, technology. SMRT technology enables real-time analysis of biomolecules with single molecule resolution, which has the potential to transform the understanding of biological systems by providing a window into these systems that has not previously been open for scientific study.

Forward-Looking Statements

This press release contains forward-looking statements. Forward-looking statements may contain words such as "believe," "may," "estimate," "anticipate," "continue," "intend," "expect," "plan," the negative of these terms, or other similar expressions, and include the assumptions that underlie such statements. Such statements include, but are not limited to, statements regarding the Company’s SMRT technology. These statements are subject to known and unknown risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially from those expressed or implied by such statements, including but not limited to risks discussed from time to time in documents Pacific Biosciences of California, Inc. has filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission, including the risks identified under the section captioned "Risk Factors" in its recently filed Quarterly Report on Form 10-Q. All forward-looking statements are based on estimates, projections and assumptions as of the date hereof. Pacific Biosciences undertakes no obligation to update any forward-looking statements.

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