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Illumina (ILMN) Inks Deal to Commercialize NGS-Based IVD Kits

Illumina, Inc. ILMN recently announced that it collaborated with QIAGEN N.V. QGEN to expand the availability and use of NGS-based In-Vitro Diagnostic (“IVD”) test kits, including companion diagnostics, for patient management.

Per the agreement, the companies will work to commercialize an array of medically documented steps, combining QIAGEN’s content and bioinformatics solutions. Initially, the partnership is expected to focus on commercializing oncology IVD kits to support patient management. This may be expanded at a later stage to include clinical diagnostic fields such as cardiology and hereditary diseases.

With the partnership, Illumina aims to strengthen global foothold in genomic sequencing through IVD tests and companion diagnostics.


Significance of the Collaboration

Per terms of the agreement, Illumina will provide QIAGEN non-exclusive rights to develop and commercialize IVD kits on a global scale. Illumina’s management believes that the partnership is a breakthrough to carry forward the use of next-generation sequencing (NGS) to achieve favorable patient outcomes.

The agreement also includes rights for expanding the partnership on future Illumina diagnostic (Dx) systems. The companies also plan to look for opportunities to develop and market companion diagnostics based on Illumina’s TruSight Oncology (“TSO”) menu, which will enable all-inclusive genomic profiling of tumor samples in immunotherapy.

The collaboration is expected to boost Illumina’s strong IVD portfolio.

A Peek Into Illumina’s IVD Portfolio

The company has a robust diagnostic NGS product portfolio, which includes MiSeq Dx and NextSeq 550Dx platforms. The IVD test kits will be used in consonance with these platforms.

Recent Developments

Illumina signed a partnership deal with Adaptive Biotechnologies Corporation ADPT (a commercial-stage biotechnology company) in September 2019, which will enable clinicians to carry out clinical immunodiagnostic testing that can be conducted in local laboratories.

In the same month, Illumina entered an agreement with the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard to work on the development of secondary genomic analysis algorithms and software.

Illumina also announced the launch of VeriSeq NIPT Solution v2, a CE-IVD, NGS-based approach to noninvasive prenatal testing (NIPT), in June 2019.

Industry Prospects

Per a report by MarketsAndMarkets, the global IVD market is estimated to reach $ 87.93 billion by 2023 from $68.12 billion in 2018, witnessing a CAGR of 5.2%. The key factors driving the market are the increasing demand for early and accurate disease diagnosis, and the growing adoption of fully-automated instruments and automated laboratories.

Given the current trend and huge untapped potential in the NGS-based IVD market, Illumina signed this deal just at the right time.

Price Performance

The company’s shares have dipped 5.4% in the past year compared with the industry’s decline of 20.9%. However, the S&P 500 index grew 4.8% during the same period.

Zacks Rank & Stock to Consider

Currently, Illumina carries a Zacks Rank #4 (Sell). A better-ranked stock from the broader medical space is Haemonetics Corporation HAE, sporting a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy) at present. It has a projected long-term earnings growth rate of 13.5%. You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank stocks here.

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