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Illumina (ILMN) Invests in Seven Additional Genomics Startups

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Illumina Inc. (ILMN - Free Report) recently invested in seven new genomics companies that are advancing breakthrough therapeutics, diagnostics, DNA storage, mental wellness, and sustainable foods applications. Notably, the companies will join the fourth global funding cycle of Illumina Accelerator San Francisco Bay Area and Cambridge, U.K.

With the latest collaborations, Illumina aims to strengthen its genomics business worldwide.

Few Words on Illumina for Startups

Illumina for Startups focuses on creating an innovative ecosystem for the genomics industry by collaborating with venture capital investors and entrepreneurs to develop, launch, and drive genomics startups.

Illumina for Startups initiatives include Illumina Accelerator, established in 2014, and Sequoia Capital China Intelligent Healthcare Genomics Incubator, Powered by Illumina, launched in 2021.

More on the Investment

Illumina Accelerator, the global company creation engine, is intended for partnering with entrepreneurs to build advanced genomics startups. Its next global funding cycle application deadline is Apr 1, 2022.

Illumina Accelerator has a robust portfolio of 68 genomics startups across the globe. During two, six-month funding cycles per year, Illumina Accelerator offers the selected startups with access to seed investment, along with Illumina sequencing systems and reagents, as well as business guidance, genomics expertise, and fully operational lab space at Illumina's campuses in Cambridge, UK or the San Francisco Bay Area.

Some of the newest companies to join Illumina Accelerator's global portfolio include 4SR Biosciences Inc. —  a diagnostics and therapeutics company from the University of Chicago; B4X, INC. —  a therapeutics and diagnostics company from Atlanta, GA; Cache DNA, Inc. —  a nucleic acid software and storage company from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology; and CRISP-HR Therapeutics, Inc. —  a therapeutics company from the San Francisco Bay Area.

Significance of the Investment

Per Illumina’s management, Illumina Accelerator's trajectory in creating breakthrough genomics startups across the globe is incomparable. The seven new investments highlight the power of genomics to accelerate breakthrough discoveries across therapeutics, diagnostics, sustainable foods and direct-to-consumer applications to transform human health.

Industry Prospects

Per a report by MarketsandMarkets, the global genomics market was valued at $18.9 billion in 2019 and is projected to reach $35.7 billion by 2024, at a CAGR of 13.5%. Factors like growing institutional support for genomic research projects, a significant decrease in sequencing costs and increasing applications of genomics are likely to drive the market.

Illumina Developments in Genomics

In March 2022, Illumina introduced TruSight Oncology Comprehensive —  a single test that assesses multiple tumor genes and biomarkers to reveal the specific molecular profile of a patient's cancer.   

In January 2022, Illumina entered into a multi-year partnership with Agendia to expand genomic testing in breast cancer care. This partnership represents a major step in Agendia's integration in NGS technologies and helps Illumina in providing crucial genomic information to physicians and their patients to guide care at every single step in a patient's treatment journey.

Developments by Other Companies

However, Illumina is facing tough competition in the field of genomics market from companies like QIAGEN N.V. (QGEN - Free Report) , Pacific Biosciences of California (PACB - Free Report) and 10x Genomics (TXG - Free Report) .

In February 2022, QIAGEN partnered with Singular Genomics Systems to validate its QIAseq kits, a product line for both DNA and RNA sample preparation with the G4 sequencing platform. This collaboration supports QGEN’s efforts to enable genomics applications on multiple genomics platforms in order to further expand the breadth of options for researchers and commercial testing.

For 2023, QGEN has an expected earnings growth rate of 9.8%.

In January 2022, Pacific Biosciences announced a collaboration with Genomics England to study PACB’s technology for identifying genetic variants in unexplained rare disease cases using HiFi Sequencing Technology.

For 2023, PACB has an expected earnings growth rate of 14.7%.

In January 2022, 10x Genomics announced the expansion of its 10x Certified Service Provider Network to include three leading clinical research organizations. The organization will collaborate with TXG to aid global biopharmaceutical companies seeking to leverage 10x Genomics' robust single-cell and spatial technologies to power new therapeutic discoveries and accelerate drug development.

For 2023, TXG has an expected earnings growth rate of 53.7%.