Pacbio hopes to avoid antitrust issues with Omniome

18 months after its acquisition by Illumina was stymied by antitrust concerns, Pacific Biosciences has done a similar, if smaller, deal of its own. It is acquiring Omniome for $600m upfront in cash and stock, with an additional $200m in milestone payments on the table. Pacbio hopes to add Omniome's short-read sequencing technology to its own long-read platforms. Theoretically these approaches are different – short-read tech sequences strands of DNA a few hundred bases at a time and then uses computers to stitch the fragments together, whereas long-read sequencing can handle around 10,000 bases. But the FTC considered these two approaches to be similar enough to deny approval to the Illumina-Pacbio deal, and though the Omniome acquisition is half the size of that earlier tie-up it too could risk running afoul of the regulator. Illumina, meanwhile, is reportedly getting bogged down even further in its efforts to reacquire its own spinout, the liquid biopsy developer Grail. 

Pacbio-Omniome is the ninth biggest medtech M&A of 2021
Announcement date Acquirer Target Value ($m) Focus
Jan 12 Steris Cantel Medical 4,600 Endoscopy, general & plastic surgery, nephrology
Mar 12 Roche Genmark Diagnostics 1,800 In vitro diagnostics
Apr 11 Diasorin Luminex 1,800 In vitro diagnostics
Jan 21 Boston Scientific Preventice Solutions 1,225 Patient monitoring
Mar 3 Boston Scientific Surgical business of Lumenis 1,070 General and plastic surgery, ophthalmics
Jan 4 Dentsply Sirona Byte 1,040 Dental
Mar 12 Hellman & Friedman (private equity) Cordis business of Cardinal Health 1,000 Cardiology
Jun 23 Tecan Group Paramit, subsidiary of Altaris Capital Partners 1,000 Blood, in vitro diagnostics
Jul 20 Pacbio Omniome 800 In vitro diagnostics
Apr 8 Hologic Mobidiag 795 In vitro diagnostics
Source: Evaluate Medtech.

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