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Illumina (ILMN) iHope Genetic Health Program Expands WGS Access

·4 min read

Illumina, Inc. ILMN, in collaboration with Genetic Alliance, recently announced the establishment of the iHope Genetic Health program. This development is aimed at providing whole-genome sequencing access (WGS) to low- and middle-income communities around the world impacted by genetic disease.

It is worth mentioning that genetic disease affects more than 300 million individuals across the world, with children being more susceptible to this. In high-income countries, these patients often remain undiagnosed for up to seven years, while in low- and middle-income geographies, many families never know the cause of their child’s suffering.

The launch of the iHope Genetic Health program by Illumina will enable access to WGS that will help reduce the psychological stress and loss of income that many families endure.

More on iHope Genetic Health Program

The iHope Genetic Health program will build upon the success of Illumina’s existing iHope efforts. The initiative will expand the reach of the program, allowing clinical laboratories and care centers worldwide to treat patients impacted by rare diseases and other genetic health conditions.

Nearly half of iHope Genetic Health’s efforts will be designated on areas of the world outside the United States, with more than one-third of Illumina’s support being dedicated to patients in Africa.

In February 2022, iHope Genetic Health will begin reviewing clinical whole genome sequencing applications.

Strategic Efforts

Per Illumina’s management, with the establishment of iHope Genetic Health, the company is expanding its commitment to ensuring that the benefits derived from whole-genome sequencing are accessible to as many people as possible and as quickly as possible, regardless of disease, geography or income.

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Through this global initiative program, Illumina will allow Genetic Alliance to develop networks of clinics and laboratories equipped with the essential genome technology to offer precision genomic diagnoses to patients suffering from rare genetic diseases.

Further, iHope Genetic Health will be supported by a network of disease advocacy, technology, pharmaceutical and clinical support organizations to ensure support for patients throughout their diagnostic and care journey.

Industry Prospects

Per a report by MARKETSANDMARKETS, the global genomics market is projected to reach $54.4 billion by 2025 from $22.7 billion in 2020, at a CAGR of 19.0%.

Increasing government funding to support genomics projects, rising applications of NGS in cancer research and the growing application areas of genomics are driving the market.

Recent Developments

In November 2021, Illumina announced that its sequencing and bioinformatics solutions are being used by HostSeq, as part of the Canadian COVID-19 Genomics Network (CanCOGeN), to spot biomarkers that can help forecast potential risks of serious disease and support the development of novel therapeutics to combat COVID-19.

In the same month, Illumina announced an agreement with Israel's Ministry of Health (MoH) for a pilot program to implement the use of WGS in critically-ill infants suspected of having a genetic disorder in neonatal intensive care units (NICU).

Price Performance

Shares of the company have gained 27% in a year’s time against the industry’s fall of 14%.

Zacks Rank and Key Picks

Illumina currently carries a Zacks Rank #5 (Strong Sell).

A few better-ranked stocks from the broader medical space are Thermo Fisher Scientific Inc. TMO, Medpace Holdings, Inc. MEDP and Laboratory Corporation of America Holdings, or LabCorp LH

Thermo Fisher Scientific, carrying a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy), reported third-quarter 2021 adjusted earnings per share (EPS) of $5.76, which surpassed the Zacks Consensus Estimate by 23.3%. Revenues of $9.33 billion outpaced the Zacks Consensus Estimate by 12%.

Thermo Fisher has an estimated long-term growth rate of 14%. TMO surpassed estimates in the trailing four quarters, the average surprise being 9.02%.

Medpace reported third-quarter 2021 adjusted EPS of $1.29, surpassing the Zacks Consensus Estimate by 20.6%. Revenues of $295.57 million beat the Zacks Consensus Estimate by 1.2%. It currently carries a Zacks Rank #1. You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank stocks here.

Medpace has an estimated long-term growth rate of 16.4%. MEDP surpassed estimates in the trailing four quarters, the average surprise being 11.9%.

LabCorp reported third-quarter 2021 adjusted EPS of $6.82, which surpassed the Zacks Consensus Estimate by 42.9%. Revenues of $4.06 billion outpaced the Zacks Consensus Estimate by 13.4%. It currently carries a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy).

LabCorp has an estimated long-term growth rate of 10.6%. LH surpassed estimates in the trailing four quarters, the average surprise being 25.7%.


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