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Anthony Nolan Revolutionizes HLA Typing With Breakthrough DNA Sequencing Technology From Pacific Biosciences (PACB)



5/13/2014 10:35:10 AM

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HAMPSTEAD, LONDON and MENLO PARK, Calif., May 13, 2014 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Anthony Nolan, the UK blood cancer charity, and Pacific Biosciences of California, Inc., (Nasdaq:PACB) announced today that Anthony Nolan is the world's first stem cell registry to invest in an innovative new technology for advanced tissue typing.1 The charity, which led the way 40 years ago when it created the world's first bone marrow register, is continuing its record for innovation by purchasing two PacBio® RS II systems, which enable Single Molecule, Real-Time (SMRT®) DNA Sequencing of full-length HLA genes.

Anthony Nolan will offer unparalleled detail and accuracy across its entire tissue typing service. The PacBio RS II system was selected because it is the only system available that can sequence full-length HLA genes due to its industry-leading read lengths and consensus accuracy.

Professor Steven Marsh, Anthony Nolan's Director of Bioinformatics, said: "Anthony Nolan has, from its inception, always been a scientifically pioneering organization. Investment in Pacific Biosciences SMRT technology will enable us to conduct allele-level typing, as standard. By providing the highest resolution typing available, we will be able to unambiguously phase HLA alleles for research in tissue transplantation and other applications, with the goal of making bone marrow and blood stem cell transplants more successful."

Professor Marsh continued: "Anthony Nolan intends to use this new technology to comprehensively HLA type new and existing donors as well as improve and extend services to our current customer base. Allied with this, Anthony Nolan's strategy seeks to offer services to new customers requiring full HLA typing for first-time donors, re-typing existing donors, confirmatory typing when donor/patient matches have been found, and typing for HLA-related disease association and drug hypersensitivity. This ground-breaking technology means Anthony Nolan staff and our customers will gain extra confidence that they have the most comprehensive data available as we strive toward ultimately improving transplant outcomes for patients in the future."

"We are proud to have innovative leaders like Anthony Nolan adopt our platform as we bring our installed base to more than 100 systems worldwide," said Michael Hunkapiller, President and Chief Executive Officer of Pacific Biosciences. "Together with Professor Steven Marsh, the designer and curator of the worldwide IMGT/HLA Database, we are excited that Anthony Nolan will now begin enhancing this critically important resource with full-length HLA genes. We anticipate that the unique advantages of SMRT Sequencing will also provide significant contributions to the IPD-KIR Sequence Database."

About Anthony Nolan

Anthony Nolan, now in its 40th anniversary year, was the world's first bone marrow register. The blood cancer charity has been saving lives for four decades by matching remarkable people willing to donate their bone marrow to patients in desperate need of a transplant.

About blood cancer

Every 20 minutes someone in the UK is diagnosed with a blood cancer. Around 1,800 people in the UK need a bone marrow (or stem cell) transplant each year. This is usually their last chance of survival. 63% of UK patients will not find a matching donor from within their families; instead they turn to Anthony Nolan to find them an unrelated donor.

About Pacific Biosciences

Pacific Biosciences of California, Inc. (Nasdaq:PACB) offers the PacBio® RS II DNA Sequencing System to help scientists solve genetically complex problems. Based on its novel Single Molecule, Real-Time (SMRT®) technology, the company's products enable: targeted sequencing to more comprehensively characterize genetic variations; de novo genome assembly to more fully identify, annotate and decipher genomic structures; and DNA base modification identification to help characterize epigenetic regulation and DNA damage. By providing access to information that was previously inaccessible, Pacific Biosciences enables scientists to increase their understanding of biological systems.

1 Tissue typing is a process carried out at the time potential donors join the register, before a blood stem cell transplant. Transplants are used to treat blood cancers (e.g. leukemia) and other serious blood disorders. The human leukocyte antigen (HLA) of the donor must exactly, or very closely, match the HLA (tissue type) of the patient requiring the transplant.

For Anthony Nolan:
Media:
Peter Zarko-Flynn
+44 (0) 7525 053795

For Pacific Biosciences:
Media:
Nicole Litchfield
For Pacific Biosciences
415.793.6468

Investors:
Trevin Rard
Pacific Biosciences
650.521.8450

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