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Illumina (ILMN) to Develop Synthetic Genomic Data With New Pact

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Illumina, Inc. (ILMN - Free Report) recently collaborated with Gretel to develop privacy-protected, synthetic genomic data that can be accessed by medical researchers anywhere. The collaboration will enable Illumina to leverage the best-quality synthetic data in the market from Gretel to remove privacy bottlenecks and accelerate the development of precision medicine.

For investors’ note, Gretel pioneered Privacy Engineering as a Service and a toolkit for synthetic data that features easy-to-use APIs and an open-source AI-based core, built for developers. Companies and developers can use gretel’s APIs to classify and label, transform and anonymize synthetic data to create easy, fast, and safe access to data.

The recent development will fortify Illumina’s goal to strengthen its foothold in the multi-billion gene sequencing market worldwide.

More on the Collaboration

The collaboration came on the heels of releasing a successful study the partnership conducted, which validates the viability of significant new use cases for synthetic data in genomics and related fields, including medical diagnosis, biotechnology, forensic biology, virology, and biological systematics.

Further, synthetic data has already proven effective in privacy-related use cases in other industries, beyond healthcare and life sciences, such as finance and gaming, to help enhance small data collections and balance biased datasets.

Strategic Efforts

The strategic collaboration of Illumina and Gretel will offer healthcare and life science practitioners access to highly statistically accurate, artificial versions of complex genomic datasets that match with GDPR, CCPA, and other major privacy laws.

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By utilizing synthetic data, researchers can achieve access to datasets immediately and avoid lengthy approval processes by institutional review boards (IRBs) that can take anywhere from six months to a year today.

Furthermore, the privacy-preserving method of sharing sensitive data will also enable a much more accelerated and collaborative approach to next-generation DNA sequencing analysis, which can lead to the discovery of new drugs insights into genetic disorders, and disease detection and treatments, which could be used for COVID-19 variants.

Industry Prospects

Per a report by BCC Research, the global synthetic biology market is expected to rise from $5.30 billion in 2019 to $18.90 billion by 2024, at a CAGR of 28.8%.

An increase in the number of R&D investments in drug discovery, the improvement and reduced cost of DNA sequencing and synthesizing are major factors driving the market.

Recent Developments

In November 2021, Illumina formed an alliance with investment firm Sequoia Capital China to launch a genomics incubator in China. Jointly, the companies announced the selection of the first two startup companies joining the Sequoia Capital China Intelligent Healthcare Genomics Incubator, Powered by Illumina.

In the same month, Illumina, in collaboration with Genetic Alliance, announced the establishment of the iHope Genetic Health program. This development aims to provide whole-genome sequencing access (WGS) to low- and middle-income communities around the world impacted by genetic disease.

Price Performance

Shares of the company have gained 9.4% in a year against the industry's decline of 26%.

Zacks Rank and Key Picks

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

A couple of better-ranked stocks from the broader medical space are Thermo Fisher Scientific Inc. (TMO - Free Report) , Laboratory Corporation of America Holdings (LH - Free Report) , or LabCorp and Medpace Holdings, Inc. (MEDP - Free Report) . You can see the complete list of today's Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here.

Thermo Fisher, currently carrying a Zacks Rank #2 (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%.

LabCorp, carrying a Zacks Rank #1, 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%.

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%.

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%.

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%. It currently sports a Zacks Rank #1.