Illumina Expands in Europe on 3 NIPT Deals

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Consistent with its strategy to expand in the growing non-invasive prenatal testing (:NIPT) market in Europe, leading life sciences company Illumina Inc. (ILMN) has entered into three separate partnership agreements. The company announced that, per the terms of the respective deals, Biomnis, Genoma, and the Center for Human Genetics and Laboratory Diagnostics Martinsrieduse will use Illumina’s HiSeq 2500 and consumables in order to develop and perform NIPT in several locations of Europe.

Illumina strongly believes such strategic partnerships will act as a major breakthrough in establishing it as a forerunner in reproductive and genetic health solutions worldwide. This will also strengthen its position as a valued partner for NGS-based testing across a broad range of clinical applications.

Through Biomnis, a provider of medical laboratory testing services, NIPT will now be available in France. Biomnis believes, with the access of Illumina’s whole genome sequencing, it will be able to deliver its tests with the highest level of accuracy.

On the other hand, molecular genetics laboratory Genoma and Munich-based Center for Human Genetics and Laboratory Diagnostics Martinsrieduse will offer NIPT in Italy and Germany respectively. Genoma expects that access to NIPT through its network with the use of Illumina’s technology will help it improve its service and offerings for patients and healthcare providers.

According to the Center for Human Genetics and Laboratory Diagnostics Martinsrieduse, formation of this Prenatalis Consortium will help it set standards and further develop applications of NIPT in cooperation with major prenatal centers in Germany.

Illumina enjoys a strong position in the life sciences market and we are impressed with the strong momentum of its sequencing instruments, sequencing consumables as well as Sample Prep. Illumina is currently focusing on worldwide sales expansion to drive growth. Apart from North America, Illumina markets and distributes its products directly to customers in Europe, Latin America and the Asia-Pacific region (:APAC) either through its direct selling force or through distributors that specialize in life science products.

In the last reported quarter, globally, demand for its products remained strong. Shipments in the Americas grew 24% year over year, while Europe witnessed a 32% increase.With the impending launch of a number of new products in 2014, Illumina expects to further increase its sales and distribution resource in these locations.

The stock currently bears a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold).

Other Stocks to Consider

Investors interested in the biomedical sector can consider stocks like Actelion Ltd. (ALIOF), ANI Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (ANIP) and Biogen Idec Inc. (BIIB). All the three stocks sport a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy).

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