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Global leader in the field of DNA sequencing and array-based technologies, Illumina, Inc. (ILMN - Free Report) along with Telegraph Hill Partners (“THP”) announced plans to set up an independent company Verogen, Inc. THP is a life science-focused venture capital and growth equity firm based in San Francisco. Verogen, headquartered in the San Diego area, will have rights to provide Illumina’s forensic sequencing technology to forensic customers, including criminal casework and other human and nonhuman forensic applications.

The independent company is expected to strengthen Illumina’s next-generation sequencing (NGS) business in the forensic genomics market. It will be the sole provider of the MiSeq FGx Forensic Genomics System, including the MiSeq FGx sequencer, ForenSeq DNA Signature Prep Kit and the ForenSeq Universal Analysis Software. It will also have the global commercial rights to these products.

The MiSeq FGx Forensic Genomics System is used in operational crime laboratories, private service labs and forensic research institutes worldwide. The company will also be offering other Illumina products to forensic labs to operationalize NGS in routine forensic genomics.

Illumina will continue to manufacture the MiSeq FGx Instrument and core sequencing consumables. Management believes that the MiSeq FGx Forensic Genomics System continues to lead the transition to NGS.

Genomics in forensic market will improve justice and public safety while removing the barriers to adopt NGS in crime laboratories. The companies are hopeful that Illumina’s NGS technology together with THP’s forensic experts will help Verogen provide long-term success to customers.

Kirk Malloy has been named CEO of Verogen, while Cydne Holt will serve as General Manager and Chief Scientific Officer.

According to a BCC research report, the major U.S. forensic products and services market will reach a worth of nearly $16.3 billion in 2018, at a CAGR of 7.8% in the period 2013 to 2018. Thus, the company clearly has bountiful opportunities in this space.

Illumina is striving to expand its NGS technology base. In line with this, Illumina had announced the launch of a solution under its noninvasive prenatal testing (NIPT) kit in Europe. The product VeriSeq NIPT solution is a CE-IVD marked next-generation sequencing (NGS)-based approach to NIPT.

Also, Illumina announced that its Extended RAS Panel, an FDA-approved next-generation sequencing (NGS) kit, meets the newly published guidelines for evaluation of colorectal cancer.

The company had also launched Bio-Rad Single-Cell Sequencing Solution, the first next-generation sequencing (NGS) workflow for single-cell analysis, in collaboration with Bio-Rad Laboratories, Inc. (BIO - Free Report) .

Over the last three months, Illumina has been trading above the broader industry.  The stock has gained 10.7% in the past three months, compared to 7.6% of the broader industry.

Zacks Rank & Key Picks

Illumina carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). A few better-ranked medical stocks are IDEXX Laboratories, Inc. (IDXX - Free Report) and Lantheus Holdings, Inc. (LNTH - Free Report) . Lantheus Holdings and IDEXX Laboratories carry a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy). You cansee the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Bu) stocks here.

Lantheus Holdings has a long-term expected earnings growth rate of 12.5%. The stock has gained 34.9% over the last six months.

IDEXX Laboratories has a long-term expected earnings growth rate of 19.8%. The stock has rallied around 6.2% over the last six months.

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