Illumina, Inc. ( ILMN Quick Quote ILMN - Free Report) recently launched the Global Health Access Initiative to support the acceleration of pathogen sequencing in low and middle-income countries (LMICs). The program aims to provide reduced pricing structures for eligible sequencing products from Illumina to qualified global health funding entities and address key international logistics and supply-chain challenges.
Expanding sequencing capabilities in LMICs has been a long-term focus for Illumina and forms the foundation of collaborations with organizations like FIND and The Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria. The recent development will also boost the company’s core business.
According to Illumina’s head of Global Health, enabling countries to perform pathogen sequencing locally strengthens health systems, enables better preparedness and allows countries to manage their priority health threats. It also avoids costly and time-consuming shipment of samples abroad and leads to faster response times.
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Currently, pricing for sequencing instruments and consumables can vary by country or region, which is challenging for funders and donors and can limit broad implementation. Illumina’s representative quotes that the countries or regions whose public health preparedness will most benefit from genomics often lack the resources to implement it sustainably.
The New Initiative in Detail
Developed with guidance from customers, funders, and market facilitators, including the nonprofit FIND, Illumina's new Global Health Access Initiative is a step forward to address these challenges. The program will provide discounted prices for a range of sequencing applications, including drug resistance profiling in tuberculosis, whole-genome sequencing of emerging and reemerging viruses to monitor virus evolution and support outbreak response, broad respiratory pathogen detection for influenza-like illness surveillance, wastewater and other environmental surveillance applications to track pathogens and antimicrobial resistances at the population level.
To simplify budgeting and procurement, Illumina's key components for these applications are available as single-part-number combination kits, encompassing library preparation reagents, sequencing reagents and data analysis tools.
More on the News
Of late, significant advances have been made in global genomic sequencing capacity. The data cited by Illumina shows that as of December 2022, 84% of World Health Organization member states are capable of sequencing SARS-COV-2, while more than 16 million SARS-CoV-2 genomes have been deposited in the GISAID repository as of October 2023.
However, geographic disparities in the ability to monitor pathogens beyond SARS-CoV-2 lead to significant gaps in the detection of emerging threats, putting global health security at risk. The Global Health Access initiative is an evolution of Illumina’s efforts during the pandemic in providing global health access pricing for SARS-CoV-2 genomic surveillance.
Industry Prospects Per a Research report, the global genomics market size was valued at $28.1 billion in 2022 and is expected to witness a CAGR of 16.5% up to 2030. Recent Performance of the Core Illumina Segment
Core Illumina’s products and services serve customers in the research, clinical and applied markets and enable the adoption of a variety of genomic solutions. In the third quarter of 2023, sequencing instrument revenues grew 10% year over year, driven primarily by NovaSeq X.
Core Illumina sequencing service and other revenues were up 15%, led by higher instrument service contract revenues on a growing installed base and an increase in lab services revenues. However, the segment’s performance across all regions was impacted by macroeconomic conditions on customers' purchasing power and the impact of high-throughput customers transitioning to NovaSeq X.
In the past six months, shares of Illumina have decreased 49.3% compared with the
industry’s decline of 15.9%. Zacks Rank and Key Picks
Illumina currently carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold).
Some better-ranked stocks in the broader medical space are
Haemonetics ( HAE Quick Quote HAE - Free Report) , Insulet ( PODD Quick Quote PODD - Free Report) and DexCom ( DXCM Quick Quote DXCM - Free Report) . While Haemonetics and DexCom each carry a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy), Insulet presently sports a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy). You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank stocks here .
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