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Illumina (ILMN) Unveils Complete Long Reads Technology

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Illumina, Inc. (ILMN - Free Report) recently launched its first product based on its novel Illumina Complete Long Read technology. The high-performance, long-read, human whole-genome sequencing (WGS) assay – Illumina Complete Long Read is well-suited with Illumina NovaSeq X Plus, NovaSeq X, and NovaSeq 6000 Sequencing Systems.

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Illumina's Complete Long Read Prep combines Illumina sequencing by synthesis (SBS) chemistry with DRAGEN secondary analysis to provide more accurate Whole Genome Sequencing (WGS).

The technology offers users access to long- and short-read data on the same Illumina instrument for the first time ever. Illumina Complete Long Reads allows a simpler workflow with reduced DNA input requirements compared with other long-read offerings.

It is worth mentioning that in February 2023, at the Advances in Genome Biology and Technology (AGBT) conference, early-access customers shared data supporting Illumina Complete Long Reads' high accuracy and flexible DNA input and the abilities that help to lessen cost and operational complexity.

Illumina strategies to use this technology as a platform for long-read application development. Illumina will launch an enrichment assay — an even more affordable, higher throughput, targeted solution focused on regions known to benefit from additional insight with longer reads in the second half of 2023.

Benefits of Illumina Complete Long Read technology

Per Illumina’s management, many long-read solutions have been restricted by high DNA input requirements, complex workflows with low throughput, and highly variable results on dedicated long-read instruments. Llumina Complete Long Reads overcomes those difficulties and associated costs to make long-read sequencing accessible and efficient for genomic labs.

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By aiding access into these hard-to-map areas, Illumina’s long-read data offers an additional tool in the progression of genetic disease testing. This allows the scientific community to advance research by assaying the full breadth of genomic variation at scale to enable discovery in areas of genetic disease research and pharmacogenomics in a better way.

Industry Prospects

Per a report by Grand View Research, the global whole genome sequencing market was valued at $1,645.2 million in 2022 and is expected to expand at a CAGR of 20.06% by 2030.  The growing prevalence of genetic disorders and mutations that lead to cancer progression are the main factors driving the market.

Strong Prospects in Genetic Health Market

Illumina is keeping pace with its goals to strengthen its foothold in the multi-billion gene sequencing worldwide market with some highly-competitive products in its existing portfolio and pipeline. This market is developing rapidly on a global scale, allowing the company to witness continuous growth in the number of non-invasive prenatal test (NIPT) samples.

In line with this, in January 2023, Illumina and Nashville Biosciences LLC, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Vanderbilt University Medical Center (VUMC), entered into an agreement with Amgen on sequencing. Per the agreement, the companies plan to do a whole-genome sequence of approximately 35,000 DNA samples.

Price Performance

Shares of the company have lost 30.8% in a year compared with the industry’s fall of 12.3%.

Zacks Rank and Key Picks

Currently, Illumina carries a Zacks Rank #4 (Sell).

Some better-ranked stocks in the overall healthcare sector include Haemonetics Corporation (HAE - Free Report) , TerrAscend Corp. and Akerna Corp. (KERN - Free Report) . Haemonetics and TerrAscend both sport a Zacks Rank #1, while Akerna carries a Zack Rank #2 (Buy). You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank stocks here.

Haemonetics’ stock has risen 42.1% in the past year. Earnings Estimates for Haemonetics have increased from $2.87 per share to 2.91 for 2023 and from $3.02 per share to $3.28 for 2024 in the past 30 days.

HAE’s earnings beat estimates in each of the last four quarters, delivering an average surprise of 10.98%. In the last reported quarter, it reported an earnings surprise of 7.59%.

Estimates for TerrAscend in 2023 have remained constant at a loss of 10 cents per share in the past 30 days. Shares of TerrAscend have declined 70.6% in the past year.

TerrAscend’s earnings beat estimates in one of the last three quarters and missed the mark in the other two, the average negative surprise being 136.11%. In the last reported quarter, TRSSF delivered an earnings surprise of 216.67%.

Akerna’s stock declined 95.7% in the past year. Its estimates for 2023 have remained constant at a loss of $1.91 per share over the past 30 days.

Akerna missed earnings estimates in each of the last four quarters, delivering a negative earnings surprise of 15.49%, on average. In the last reported quarter, KERN delivered a negative earnings surprise of 13.33%.

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