In its efforts to accelerate scale of data processing within Next Generation Sequencing (NGS), Illumina Inc. ILMN recently acquired BlueBee, a cloud-based software company based in Netherlands. The financial terms of the deal have been kept under wraps.
BlueBee at a Glance
BlueBee that provides genomics analysis solutions for research and clinical customers has a regulatory compliant, secure cloud platform called DRAGEN Bio-IT Platform. This platform simplifies access to data and tools, thus helping in easy extraction of insights from genomic data.
BlueBee’s capabilities include intuitive analysis management (BlueFlow), multi-modal data management (BlueBase), and data science and AI tools (BlueBench), as well as integrated business analytics, and multi-cloud or on-premise deployment modes.
The cloud capability of this platform will help Illumina to lower the cost of storing, sharing and managing the company’s huge volumes of genomic data that streams from its installed base of more than 15,000 sequencing systems.
According to Illumina, the integration of BlueBee’s capabilities into its cloud portfolio will enable Illumina customers to access either their own custom analyses or go for options like the DRAGEN Bio-IT Platform. These users will also be able to aggregate, explore and collaborate on data and methods directly in the cloud through a user-friendly, ISO-compliant, flexible interface.
Illumina believes that BlueBee’s capabilities will substantially add to its existing cloud software portfolio, which includes BaseSpace Sequencing Hub, a direct extension to Illumina instruments. It is one of the most widely utilized software for sequencing run management and data sharing.
NGS Platform in Focus
We are optimistic about Illumina’s expansion strategy within NGS through the enhancement of its portfolio of sequencing products through new purchases and the development of strategic partnerships with therapeutics and diagnostic services providers.
Illumina partnered with IDbyDNA in March 2020 with the aim of co-marketing IDbyDNA’s Explify Platform for use with Illumina’s NGS systems and library preparation to provide a complete and streamlined workflow solution for infectious disease applications.
The company also partnered with Roche in January 2020 to accelerate the availability of distributable NGS-based IVD tests on Illumina’s diagnostic (Dx) sequencing systems.
Other partnerships like that with the New York Genome Center, Stanford, Adaptive Biotechnology and Genomics England are progressing well.
Illumina’s partnership with QIAGEN, which was aimed at expanding the accessibility and use of NGS-based IVD kits, including companion diagnostics, for better patient management is also a strategic addition for Illumina.
Illumina’s collaboration with Adaptive Biotechnologies Corporation will enable clinicians to carry out clinical immunodiagnostic testing, which can be conducted in local laboratories. All these indicate that Illumina’s products still stand a chance to outperform a large portion of sequencing programs in demand, which in turn might boost its profit margin.
According to Markets and Markets, the global next-generation sequencing market is estimated to reach $12.45 billion by 2022 at a CAGR of 20.5%. This shows that the acquisition is in line with the company’s strategies.
Share Price Performance
In the past six months, Illumina has gained 10.9% versus the industry's decline of 3.2%.
Zacks Rank & Key Picks
Currently, Illumina carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold).
Some better-ranked stocks from the broader medical space are Quest Diagnostics Incorporated DGX, Hologic, Inc. HOLX and QIAGEN N.V. QGEN.
Quest Diagnostics’ long-term earnings growth rate is projected at 7.6%. It currently carries a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy). You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here.
Hologic’s long-term earnings growth rate is estimated at 7%. The company presently has a Zacks Rank #2.
QIAGEN’s long-term earnings growth rate is estimated at 12.2%. It currently sports a Zacks Rank #1.
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