I’m not an expert in sequencing. But when I read someone who is describe PacBio’s
predicament strategy, it makes me stare into space and imagine all the man-hours of skilled professional labor that are about to be lit on fire and tossed into the sea.
In response to a question about $1000 genomes, Henry described it as "just a number"…he also pushed the idea that a PacBio genome is a truly clinical grade genome and has higher value … that will be more attractive to payers…
What is a “clinical grade genome?” I guess it’s a genome that is sufficient accurate to make clinical decisions. But this is a judgement that the clinicians get to make, and clinicians won’t give a damn about the error rates on any of these platforms. They care what the results of the clinical trials say. That means the platform that wins will be the one on which the most clinical trials are running. I doubt that’s PacBio.
Oxford Nanopore can beat them on very long reads and their single molecule accuracy is much higher; far better to focus on the CCS/HiFi reads where PacBio can deliver much higher accuracy
In a monopolized market, the only other lanes are on roads where the monopolist can’t drive. Long reads is one, but long reads are a feature, not a benefit.
The nanopore platforms’ obvious benefit is less about long reads and more about size, weight, and power. Nanopore platforms enable sequencing in the field. Oxford Nanopore is literally driving on roads where Illumina can’t go.
PacBio can compete with Illumina in clinical diagnostics. It can compete with Oxford Nanopore in accuracy. But that’s like competing with King Kong in free climbing while competing with Jason Bourne in standup comedy. In the first case, you’re not going to win. In the second, the other guy doesn’t even show up to play.