Illumina is joining forces with China's Burning Rock to create cancer diagnostics geared toward the Chinese market, combining its sequencing prowess with Burning Rock's research know-how to increase its footprint in the country.
Having played a major role in making consumer genomics feasible, Illumina is now looking to shape how the nascent sector develops. The company has teamed up with big-name VCs to create Helix, a deep-pocketed startup that is one part massive next-generation sequencing operation, one part app store for genomics.
Genetic data has already proven its clinical benefits, but still has a ways to go when it comes to consumerization, as evidenced by the demise of 23andMe's saliva-based Personal Genome Test at the hands of the FDA.
Not to be outdone by other big-picture diagnostics players raising huge chunks of cash for consumer genomics--industry bellwether Illumina has weighed in with its own gambit. It's creating a joint venture dubbed Helix that's starting out with more than $100 million from investors including Warburg Pincus, the Mayo Clinic and Sutter Hill Ventures.
Illumina has struck a deal to acquire laboratory information management system player GenoLogics Life Sciences Software, ending years of speculation about the sequencing giant's interest in the business.
Illumina graduated the first three companies from its genomics incubator, Illumina Accelerator, months after the sequencing giant roped in new funds to back startups selected for the program.
The first clutch of companies have graduated from Illumina Accelerator, the startup incubator program the sequencing giant set up last year. And with more than $40 million in VC cash secured to help the startups grow, Illumina is now looking for the next group of companies to join.
It has been a busy year for Illumina, with deals to expand its product offerings and increase its footprint in growing markets. And the company is counting on new technology to keep up the positive momentum, especially in light of second quarter revenues that missed for the first time in years and stock crashing upon the news.
Illumina has introduced a suite of tools and software to help research organizations new to population-scale sequencing to get started with its HiSeq X Ten and Five systems. The move comes one month after BGI joined the large-scale sequencing field with a package that covers each step of the process, from sample preparation to data analysis.
Illumina is riding high off its HiSeq X sequencing systems, meeting increased demand with expanded facilities and ambitious plans for growth. Now, the company is rolling out a service to help labs use its HiSeq X products, allowing facilities to harness Illumina's sequencing expertise to better operate the systems.