), a major developer of life science tools for large scale
genetic analysis, reached a new 52-week high of $141.00 in
intraday trading last Friday. Shares of the company closed at
$136.34 on the same day, representing a solid one-year return of
Illumina has a market cap of $17.23 billion. Average volume of
shares traded over the last three months stood at approximately
Shares of Illumina started escalating following the
announcement of its strategic plans. The rise in share price
indicates positive market sentiment. Illumina highlighted its
goals to strengthen its foothold in the multi-billion gene
sequencing market with some highly competitive products in its
existing portfolio and pipeline.
Illumina is the first company to be awarded the U.S. FDA
pre-market clearance for a next-generation sequencing (NGS)
platform with its MiSeqDx system.
The strategy unveiled by Illumina focuses on three major
areas. First is reproductive health for which Illumina seeks to
expand its portfolio by providing the verifi
laboratory-developed non-invasive prenatal test (NIPT). In this
context, Illumina acquired Verinata Health in Feb 2013. The
company has further plans to launch a few more products for
preimplantation genetic screening, as well as an advanced
diagnosis solution to identify embryos with severe genetic
The next focus area is oncology for which Illumina aims to
provide good infrastructural facilities and test guidelines for
effective cancer genomics solutions. In Jan 2014, Illumina signed
an agreement with
) to develop and market a multigene NGS based test to be used as
a companion diagnostic for Amgen's cancer treatment,
Illumina is set to enter emerging markets
the third focus area, where it plans to launch a human leukocyte
antigen (HLA) typing product in mid-2014. Earlier this month, the
company had signed a deal with
Quest Diagnostics Inc.
), allowing the latter to use the MiSeq genotype sequencing
platform and related reagents for molecular laboratory-developed
tests. Illumina is also aiming to launch MiSeq Forensic Genomics
System (MiSeq FGx) - a technologically advanced software in the
first half of 2014.
Illumina currently has a series of innovative products in its
pipeline that promise to ease the workflow process and expand its
technological tool kit to properly integrate customer needs. The
company is working toward the launch of the products in the first
half of 2014.
Presently, Illumina has a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). A
better-ranked stock in the broader healthcare sector is
) carrying a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy).
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