Complete Genomics, PacBio CEOs to Lead Off “Computing in the Age of the $1K Genome” Oct. 24

Xconomy San Francisco — 

Complete Genomics and PacBio are two of the companies pumping out huge volumes of DNA data that needs to be kept on computers somewhere. So I figured it would be cool to get the leaders of both companies to sit down and talk about what they are doing to deal with one of their big challenges—how to use software to make sense of all this new DNA data.

Complete Genomics CEO Cliff Reid and Pacific Biosciences CEO Hugh Martin will be on hand to talk about this emerging issue on the opening panel at Xconomy’s October 24 half-day forum in San Francisco, titled “Computing in the Age of the $1,000 Genome.

These two companies are taking very different approaches to the world of gene sequencing, and it’s shaping up into a good old fashioned rivalry. Both companies went public a year ago, and have been competing for investors’ money, technology supremacy, and buzz in the scientific marketplace. And both of them have felt the pain from budget cuts that are coming to the National Institutes of Health, meaning scientists may not be able to do everything they want with the cool new toys.

For those not following this every day, Menlo Park, CA-based PacBio (NASDAQ: PACB) is pursuing a traditional business model of selling instruments and consumable products to research labs, while Complete (NASDAQ: GNOM) has a centralized service operation in which labs ship biological samples in to get sequenced. Both companies are thinking hard about how to best appeal to scientists with software that helps them come away from the experience with something more than what looks like a random jumble of billions of A’s, C’s, G’s, and T’s.

This will be the opening conversation in what will be fascinating afternoon that will also feature speakers from Microsoft, EMC/Isilon, Life Technologies, 23andMe, PerkinElmer, Stanford University, and Mohr Davidow Ventures. I’ll have more to say in this space over the weeks to come about the rest of the program. This is going to be a fun conversation about one of the very hottest topics in biotech over the next decade. For more information on how to reserve a seat, check out the registration page here.