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Old 10-23-2015, 08:51 AM   #1
math_guy
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Default Can you trust Pac Bio?

Tl;Dr -- honestly, it's a long post...I suggest not reading it unless you're super interested in Pac Bio or you're just bored. Or just click here and listen for 30 seconds starting from about 25:20 http://seekingalpha.com/article/3593...s-call-webcast

I read about the Sequel when almost everyone else found out about it. September 28th. I have been waiting for this announcement for almost a year now. I did my homework as quickly as possible to determine the cost of the machine. An hour after the market opened we bought 60,000 shares of PACB. We bought this amount because we understand what this machine is going to mean. And we have nearly every confidence that PacBio's stock price will double from our purchase price of $5.85

Also, when Pac Bio hits $11.70 per share we would have made enough profit to purchase a Sequel strictly off the profits of our stock trade.

Back to why I don't know if I can trust this company. Investors who follow the stock will discount the stock price still because Pac Bio had a past history of lying about their specs. That CEO is gone. But the history remains. My company tried to place an order for 3 Sequels. It took several days to get the sales department to even try to actually take our order. I kept pushing and trying to see why they were not really accepting our order. I finally was able, after a week of trying, to get them to confirm that orders are guaranteed to be shipped based on the order they were received.

Because they are a publicly traded company they must adhere to business rules a little bit more formally than private companies. They didn't want us ordering 3 machines right away because they would have to actually ship them to us in the order they were manufactured. So they kept trying to cancel our order. Then they tried to say there were errors in our order. When I told them they cannot do this they stopped calling us back. I called the CEO. He never responded. I didn't expect him to. But our order was over $1 million and since we guaranteed them we would run all 3 machines full time, we would be the largest user (per machine) of consumables. They cancelled our order.

Here is their CEO, from the quarterly conference call yesterday, answering the biggest question everyone has:

http://seekingalpha.com/article/3593...s-call-webcast

Just go to 25:20 and listen to the question and answer. Listen to the CEO. It will only take 30 or seconds to get it. My favorite part is when the CEO just laughs as he explains it.

Is anyone in this forum gonna read this post? Maybe....maybe 2 people. Will anyone care? Doubtful. Maybe someone here will think I am an idiot. Either way, I felt compelled to share this with this community because I often feel compelled to share things with scientists who rely on companies to be honest with them when it comes to devices and protocols for their research. This company has a history of being dishonest. So much so that they got rid of the last CEO because of that stuff. This new group seems just like the old. Except this CEO seems SUPER out of his league. I have listened to SO many CEO's in the bio space. This guy is weak and above his pay-grade. For sure. I am not trying to be mean or rude. I am just telling this community the truth as I see it. I am still gonna spend a bunch of money on using their tech. I just wish they were more honest. And I wish they had a better management team. But....that is who they decided to hire so we are all kinda stuck with it. I mean....Pac Bio is a tiny company. They have only sold 125 or so of their most current machines. They rely on money from Roche for the development of the Sequel to be "profitable." Their new technology is basically just cramming more dots onto their consumables. Don't get me wrong...we are still gonna use the Sequel. We're just gonna use it from a service provider. Assuming they are not exaggerating the specs. Which they could be. But we won't have to take that financial risk now because they won't sell to us. So the service provider will take the financial risk. They will charge 15%-20% extra to do a run. And we will save over $1 million upfront by not purchasing the machine.

For those who actually read this (you probably just wasted a bunch of time if you are here by now) my message/question is the same as the post title. Can you trust them? Also, someone might think this is funny...but it's a forum so I am gonna try: can someone contact me if you are really on the list to receive this machine and you are a service provider? I wanna negotiate a rate to use your machine 24/7 for the next 12 months. Let's negotiate a long term rate and then when you receive it and get up and running, let's start. I need 3 machines running at this rate. If anyone is actually interested and not too offended then you really should contact me.

-Dan (I put my name so that if someone from Pac Bio feels compelled to contact me then they will know who I am...but no one is even gonna read this...)

**Also, just in case someone actually read this whole post (unlikely), the purpose of the post was not to insult Pac Bio. Even though I did cuz I felt it was warranted by how they lied to us (which they did...for sure). The purpose was to inform based on what I experienced (and complain a little). Also the secondary purpose was to try to find service providers who are on the list of the first ten to receive a Sequel (yes...I know...you probably think it was a bad way to find a service provider).

Last edited by math_guy; 10-23-2015 at 08:57 AM.
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Old 10-23-2015, 09:32 AM   #2
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They will charge 15%-20% extra to do a run. And we will save over $1 million upfront by not purchasing the machine.
You think a service provider will be able to cover their labor costs, instrument amortization, overhead and profit for an extra 15-20%? If I were you I would plan for a slightly larger budget.
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Old 10-23-2015, 09:56 AM   #3
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You think a service provider will be able to cover their labor costs, instrument amortization, overhead and profit for an extra 15-20%? If I were you I would plan for a slightly larger budget.
Yes I do believe it. I mean: your raw cost for EVERYTHING plus 15-20%. There is no one who is forcing you to accept my terms. In fact, you didn't even need to respond to my post to let me know that you feel that these margins are not enough for you. For the record : they are enough for our Illumina providers. Maybe you should contact them as well and tell them that they are not making enough money off of us.

Thanks for the help. Just kidding. Also, for the record: a NET (for those of you who do not understand what NET means...it means that you make 20% profit AFTER all of your expenses and costs, including amortization) 20% ROI guaranteed on one machine which is under contract to run 24/7 is considered a good deal for a service provider. Obviously not you. But many service providers take that deal. How do I know? Cuz we do it now.
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Old 10-23-2015, 11:43 AM   #4
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Hey Dan, how's Auspex Genomics doing?
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Old 10-23-2015, 11:47 AM   #5
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Hey Dan, how's Auspex Genomics doing?
Idk. We sold the company. I am guessing they are still using our protocol. The release of the Sequel allows us to transition our platform to this system since our contract was for Illumina Hiseq and Ion Torrent only.
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Old 10-23-2015, 12:15 PM   #6
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Idk. We sold the company. I am guessing they are still using our protocol. The release of the Sequel allows us to transition our platform to this system since our contract was for Illumina Hiseq and Ion Torrent only.
Gee, on this thread you kept insisting that you were not a company and were going to give the protocol away for free if it worked.
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Old 10-23-2015, 12:35 PM   #7
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Gee, on this thread you kept insisting that you were not a company and were going to give the protocol away for free if it worked.
Yep. After the last round of misinformation and BS from the OP, I'm not really going to buy into his commentary on the PacBio.

"But our order was over $1 million and since we guaranteed them we would run all 3 machines full time, we would be the largest user"

Er no. Roche is the biggest purchaser of Sequel systems. Do your due diligence.
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Old 10-23-2015, 02:26 PM   #8
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There is no one who is forcing you to accept my terms. In fact, you didn't even need to respond to my post to let me know that you feel that these margins are not enough for you.
You seem to be a little confused about who AllSeq is. We are the Sequencing Marketplace, not a service provider - we match researchers with service providers, but we don't own or operate any sequencing platforms. As such, the margins you offer aren't really a concern of ours. We're responding, like many others on this forum, because we're trying to be helpful. There are a LOT of people who dramatically underestimate to real cost of sequencing and we wanted to make sure you weren't in that group.

Hopefully you'll be able to find a Sequel provider who can meet your needs. You'll probably have to wait a bit as PacBio's supply is going to be pretty constrained for a couple of quarters. That's probably why they didn't want to sell to you. Whether it's a good idea or not, they were pretty clear that they wanted to prioritize selling to customers who have extensive experience with the RSII. These are the customers who will be in a better position to deal with a new system that maybe doesn't have all the kinks worked out.

As far as PacBio being a company you can 'trust', they certainly had a rocky, hype-filled start (I seem to remember a claim about a 15 minute human genome - it's been the longest 15 minutes on record!). But over the past couple of years they have been really good about keeping to their promises of future product releases and improvements.

Best of luck on your project and your new investment.
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Old 10-23-2015, 03:26 PM   #9
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Gee, on this thread you kept insisting that you were not a company and were going to give the protocol away for free if it worked.
Gee...on a thread from a couple years ago when we started a project and were just a garage-group of researchers working on a side project? Is that what you are complaining about?

For the record: we gave it away for free. No one wanted it cuz no one believed us. Then...guess what? Someone believed us cuz they ran it. Then guess what? They gave us a bunch of money. Lemme guess...I am a jerk cuz of that, right? I should have just shelved the whole project and no one would ever be able to sequence cancer genes cheaper. My bad.

You do understand time, don't you? Like....how 2 years ago we could have been a group. Then....you know...cuz of time and whatnot....we became a company. Then....time and all that....someone bought us? Time...such a hard concept to wrap your head around, isn't it? You see, if nothing ever changes then time just seems to stand still. But years have gone by now...and change happened. I get it...you're mad.

Is that really what you are complaining about? Do I owe you an apology? Are you mad that we sold out?

What's your beef with me?

This is basically what makes me only post here very sporadically. I still feel compelled to come here because, once...years ago, someone REALLY helped me solve a problem. Ever since that one time, when I post, people mostly are mad or accusatory towards me.

This place sucks. The people who write to me complaining....you people mostly suck. Bioinformatics is basically one step above biology....which is one step above English Literature or Communications in college. There....I said it. NOW people can actually complain at me here. This is my first time EVER being a jerk here. Feels lousy....I was gonna delete it but I feel that I wrote it. So now I own it.

If you don't like what I have to write then I suggest one of two things: (1) disregard what I am posting about (2) insult me...BUT it had better be SERIOUSLY funny. Did I ever start something with you? No? Ok...then what makes you feel compelled to start something with me? I can guess...but I don't want to embarrass you..yet.
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Old 10-23-2015, 03:46 PM   #10
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Yep. After the last round of misinformation and BS from the OP, I'm not really going to buy into his commentary on the PacBio.

"But our order was over $1 million and since we guaranteed them we would run all 3 machines full time, we would be the largest user"

Er no. Roche is the biggest purchaser of Sequel systems. Do your due diligence.
Ummm....where did I say we were gonna be the biggest user? Oh....right...you already didn't like us because of 2 years ago.

What I wrote was that our 3 machines would be used the most because all 3 are slated for 24/7. You forgot to include the few words after that quote of mine where I detailed that we would be the largest (per machine)...cuz each machine is running all the time.

My favorite is how you tell me to do my "due diligence." I have done my due diligence. My due diligence tells me that if I use my machine 24/7 then it will be used maximally. Why don't you do some due diligence and stop using a played out phrase such as "due diligence?" Also maybe do some due diligence on reading and then writing a false accusation.

You seem nice. Just kidding. Also, I never accused you of anything. Thanks for getting it TOTALLY wrong and insulting me. Also, I never wrote you out of the blue and started insulting you. You need to go on a 24-hour timeout from SeqAnswers. Then come back tomorrow and apologize to me. My guess is you won't. My guess is you will read the original post and realize you were wrong. My guess if you will spend hours trying to figure out how to save face on this worthless (for me) forum and you will eventually come back with a real zinger for me.

Also, I am guessing a few other people here will chime in and try to insult me. Then I will insult them. Then everyone will think I am a jerk. Cuz....you know...millenials and everything.

Is ANYONE gonna even talk to me about their feelings on Pac Bio? You know...the reason I originally posted?

Is ANYONE here nice? Even kinda nice? I am nice. I wish I could meet someone here who also was.

-Dan
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Old 10-23-2015, 03:58 PM   #11
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Yep. After the last round of misinformation and BS from the OP, I'm not really going to buy into his commentary on the PacBio.

"But our order was over $1 million and since we guaranteed them we would run all 3 machines full time, we would be the largest user"

Er no. Roche is the biggest purchaser of Sequel systems. Do your due diligence.

Also, what do you mean by my "last round of misinformation and BS?" Do I have other rounds of BS? Where are these "rounds" you're writing about? What misinformation did I provide this community this time?

I know you are embarrassed by your blatantly false accusation in your earlier post. But, what is the misinformation I gave you guys and ladies? Are you saying that the link to the CEO talking yesterday was BS? Wow...how did I copy his voice and create that link to a secure site? Am I really that good at hacking? Answer: yes. But I promise that I did not do that. There must be some way to prove that I didn't just fake an entire quarterly report conference call. Right...?

Or are you calling me out on my million dollar order?

How about this? I am far too consumed with games of chance. How about we bet $1000 right now. On this forum. In front of everyone. I claim that I can prove everything I wrote unless it is just my speculation. You think I made some or all of it up. This is a public shaming of me (who you clearly dislike) and you get $1000 on top of it all. I will give you 100-to-1 odds. If you lose then you only pay me $10. Or...better yet...buy me a beer when you come to San Diego and give me a real apology. I, for sure, don't deserve what people like you write to me.

Wanna? I wanna.
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Old 10-23-2015, 04:15 PM   #12
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You seem to be a little confused about who AllSeq is. We are the Sequencing Marketplace, not a service provider - we match researchers with service providers, but we don't own or operate any sequencing platforms. As such, the margins you offer aren't really a concern of ours. We're responding, like many others on this forum, because we're trying to be helpful. There are a LOT of people who dramatically underestimate to real cost of sequencing and we wanted to make sure you weren't in that group.

Hopefully you'll be able to find a Sequel provider who can meet your needs. You'll probably have to wait a bit as PacBio's supply is going to be pretty constrained for a couple of quarters. That's probably why they didn't want to sell to you. Whether it's a good idea or not, they were pretty clear that they wanted to prioritize selling to customers who have extensive experience with the RSII. These are the customers who will be in a better position to deal with a new system that maybe doesn't have all the kinks worked out.

As far as PacBio being a company you can 'trust', they certainly had a rocky, hype-filled start (I seem to remember a claim about a 15 minute human genome - it's been the longest 15 minutes on record!). But over the past couple of years they have been really good about keeping to their promises of future product releases and improvements.

Best of luck on your project and your new investment.
Thanks for the reply. I have a feeling that they won't sell this machine to anyone other than labs who will corroborate what they want them to corroborate. I feel that this management team is gearing up for a sale of Pac Bio. My best guess is that they wouldn't sell to anyone other than hand-selected labs because they need the best press releases to hype the value of the company.

I was trying to order for 2 weeks after the announcement. I offered to double my price per machine. They don't want to sell to anyone other than a handful of partners. Your guess as to why is cuz they want their customers to do really well in the beginning. My guess is that they don't really care about that....they care about creating the highest price tag for their company.

Maybe I am wrong and you are right. But I never trust a company that lies to me the way they have. They destroyed any trust they could have had with me.

Also, since I am (in my opinion) the world's best biotech investor, I have hedged my bets. I will not rely on purchasing a phantom machine but I will partner with someone who has it and pay a premium for the runs. If the machine works then great! I will get my data. If it doesn't, then I won't get my data but I saved a million bucks and I'll get it from Illumina.

My purpose in posting here was to see if anyone had any insight. You gave me some and I appreciate it. You wrote that the others responding are also trying to be helpful. That was funny. How are insults and accusations helpful, do you think?

Either way, thanks for at least not accusing me of something or insulting me. I wanna apologize for being hard on you regarding net margins. And I also apologize for getting the nature of your business wrong.

Thanks for the best wishes!! We will need them!!
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Old 10-23-2015, 07:52 PM   #13
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They didn't want us ordering 3 machines right away because they would have to actually ship them to us in the order they were manufactured.
Everything aside, I can see why they are reluctant to sell three machines to one company. I do not think that the machines are manufactured in a production line, so, the delivery is a slow process. They would prefer to sell three machines to three labs for two reasons:

1- They would have more power in setting price of consumable. An owner with three machines would have more negotiating power to get big discounts

2- If for some reasons the machines are not operated properly by one owner they still would have two other bringing them a steady stream of consumable and reagents demand
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Old 10-23-2015, 08:27 PM   #14
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Everything aside, I can see why they are reluctant to sell three machines to one company. I do not think that the machines are manufactured in a production line, so, the delivery is a slow process. They would prefer to sell three machines to three labs for two reasons:

1- They would have more power in setting price of consumable. An owner with three machines would have more negotiating power to get big discounts

2- If for some reasons the machines are not operated properly by one owner they still would have two other bringing them a steady stream of consumable and reagents demand
I already thought about all that when I was trying to get my orders confirmed. Also, they will sell more than one machine to other companies. And they will sell many to Roche.

I bypassed number 1 by committing to a 24/7 model. And I agreed to pay list price as long as the majority were paying the same. So....number 1 isn't real.

I bypassed number 2 by committing to 24/7 on each machine. So....number 2 isn't real.

What is real is that this company refused to sell to my company. Their reasons are their own. They told me lies so I am reaching out to the community for thoughts, opinions, and to see if someone knows something. Their lies to me are the reason for my post. I am gonna run my samples on their machines regardless (if it actually works). I am just hoping someone can provide some real insight for me on the company. We looked at them for our initial solution of targeted sequencing a few years ago. But their system and the costs didn't work for our protocol. If the Sequel is for real then it will work for our protocol and will be a HUGE benefit to us.

I actually don't really care that they wouldn't sell to us. What bothers me, personally, is that we are stuck with this company because we're going to use their machine through a service provider...and the machine is made by a company which has no problem lying to my face. And the faces of others. I can't change that. I accept. It. But I am looking for information on how to protect my company from having to partner with a company which lacks ethics....from the top-down.

This will most likely end up saving us from a potentially bad long term investment in their machine anyhow. But I can't help it...I still wish these machines were sitting in my labs...under my control.

We'll just wait for Illumina now while we use the Sequel next year. And maybe Illumina will buy them (that is most likely what the CEO and board dream about now...). Their organization is much easier to work with. And they rarely lie to us.
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Old 11-08-2015, 09:39 AM   #15
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A minor tidbit: Roche (not sure of Genentech though) is one of the least experienced in the use of the PacBio systems. I was there working for Roche setting the analytics up (as of mid-2014). I have left Roche since then, but experienced users are really genome centers (I worked for those too).

It's all about the huge pay-check that Roche was/is cutting out to PacBio...Many obligations whether you like it or not, I suppose.
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Old 11-13-2015, 03:36 PM   #16
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A minor tidbit: Roche (not sure of Genentech though) is one of the least experienced in the use of the PacBio systems. I was there working for Roche setting the analytics up (as of mid-2014). I have left Roche since then, but experienced users are really genome centers (I worked for those too).

It's all about the huge pay-check that Roche was/is cutting out to PacBio...Many obligations whether you like it or not, I suppose.
Do you know a genome center (service provider) who will get the Sequel first?

Also, even though Roche was inexperienced with the PacBio system as of mid 2014, it's been nearly a year and a half since then. Maybe they got geared up since, in anticipation of the Sequel?

I am gonna make a prediction here: this machine could change everything. I am not trying to be dramatic. It genuinely could change everything. The FDA needs to get out of the way, which will never happen, but still...the cost and accuracy is geared toward where research is most profitable. That's why I bought the stock the day they announced the Sequel. This is what the market needs.

I just....don't really trust the company. If they're lying about their machine like they lied to me about shipping me some Sequels then I am nervous.

Illumina needs to buy them. Like....now. And not just cuz I own Pacific Bio stock. I need this machine. And I need someone to be honest with me about it and what I can expect. Illumina would do that. PacBio won't.
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Old 11-13-2015, 04:32 PM   #17
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And I need someone to be honest with me about it and what I can expect. Illumina would do that.
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Old 11-14-2015, 11:25 AM   #18
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Do you know a genome center (service provider) who will get the Sequel first?

Also, even though Roche was inexperienced with the PacBio system as of mid 2014, it's been nearly a year and a half since then. Maybe they got geared up since, in anticipation of the Sequel?

I am gonna make a prediction here: this machine could change everything. I am not trying to be dramatic. It genuinely could change everything. The FDA needs to get out of the way, which will never happen, but still...the cost and accuracy is geared toward where research is most profitable. That's why I bought the stock the day they announced the Sequel. This is what the market needs.

I just....don't really trust the company. If they're lying about their machine like they lied to me about shipping me some Sequels then I am nervous.

Illumina needs to buy them. Like....now. And not just cuz I own Pacific Bio stock. I need this machine. And I need someone to be honest with me about it and what I can expect. Illumina would do that. PacBio won't.
I haven't heard of any genome centers getting their sequels just yet. Icahn school of medicine at Mount Sinai seems on the first pass list though. The former CSO of PacBio, Eric Schadt, is over at Mount Sinai, so that is not too surprising to me.

Roche doesn't build anything, they just acquire them. That includes even their primary bread and butter - the PCR technology (which was originally developed by Kary Mullis while he was at Cetus). I left not too long ago, and there was nothing happening until early-mid 2015 over at the Sequencing Unit in Pleasanton, CA. Roche has a non-innovative culture (reason that I left).

They hired a new guy as a director from Asuragen for their sequencing division. He seems like a nice guy, and he is building a team, but then it remains to be seen how far along that will go (without Roche's less than intelligent upper-management intervening for too long).

While I was there, the impression that I had was that PacBio had a lot of obligations from Roche. The rumor was that PacBio was looking at Roche to stay afloat. When you are very rich (like Roche), and cut hefty pay-checks to innovative companies like PacBio, you have the final say on the marketing too, I suppose.

Come 2016 maybe you'll have better luck acquiring the Sequels? Right now, it's just that whole Roche thing... I personally know several of the PacBio folks. They genuinely are very talented, and very nice people. I would work for PacBio any day than Roche. Took some experience to realize that...

Good Luck!
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Old 11-14-2015, 04:16 PM   #19
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I haven't heard of any genome centers getting their sequels just yet. Icahn school of medicine at Mount Sinai seems on the first pass list though. The former CSO of PacBio, Eric Schadt, is over at Mount Sinai, so that is not too surprising to me.

Roche doesn't build anything, they just acquire them. That includes even their primary bread and butter - the PCR technology (which was originally developed by Kary Mullis while he was at Cetus). I left not too long ago, and there was nothing happening until early-mid 2015 over at the Sequencing Unit in Pleasanton, CA. Roche has a non-innovative culture (reason that I left).

They hired a new guy as a director from Asuragen for their sequencing division. He seems like a nice guy, and he is building a team, but then it remains to be seen how far along that will go (without Roche's less than intelligent upper-management intervening for too long).

While I was there, the impression that I had was that PacBio had a lot of obligations from Roche. The rumor was that PacBio was looking at Roche to stay afloat. When you are very rich (like Roche), and cut hefty pay-checks to innovative companies like PacBio, you have the final say on the marketing too, I suppose.

Come 2016 maybe you'll have better luck acquiring the Sequels? Right now, it's just that whole Roche thing... I personally know several of the PacBio folks. They genuinely are very talented, and very nice people. I would work for PacBio any day than Roche. Took some experience to realize that...

Good Luck!
You really don't like Roche. I sort of have similar opinions on most companies in biotech, especially public companies. I feel that they are run from the top-down by poor, short--term decision makers. Not enough investment in R&D. Too much investment in management.

But, for the record, I complain a lot.

I assume that we will never get a Sequel. We will most likely work out one or two long-term contracts with service providers and wait til Illumina buys them or comes out with a competing technology.

Or...maybe I'll buy one on the open market for a premium. We'll see.

My Pac Bio stock is slowly rising. We'll see if someone makes an offer to buy them soon. If so then I will resubmit my offer to the new sales team and hopefully they will accept my purchase orders. Also, if they are bought out then I will have made enough of a profit for two Sequels. Of course...it is PacBio...I am not ruling out this management team's ability to seriously mess it all up.
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Old 11-16-2015, 04:11 PM   #20
spore
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Can you explain why you think Sequel will change everything? Is it just the 2-3x price reduction that makes it more viable? Or is it something about the long reads you find crucial for sequencing moving forward? I still don't see them taking the thrown from Illumina with this new instrument.

Illumina isn't going to buy them. If anyone will it will be roche. But if Sequel is really the hit you think it is why would they sell the company?

And it makes sense they are being reserved about who gets the first instruments in Q1 (beside the initial 10 for Q4). They got burned with the RS because they shipped too many too early to customers who had no use (or patience) for the machine. This gave them a horrible reputation that took years to fix.

Given the fact only 10 instruments are going out this quarter (probably mostly to roche) I don't think you will find a service provider anytime soon. Yes they will ship more in the US in Q1 but wouldn't it just make more sense to wait a few more months and try and push for a Q2 buy? In the earnings call they expect to open sales worldwide in Q2. So if you are persistent maybe you will get one by next spring. And until then why don't you start the project using RS service providers? If you're willing to pay a premium for sequel why not pay for RS sequencing that's available now?
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