Illumina (ILMN) Takes Part in NIH Program With Genotype Launch

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Recently, Illumina, Inc.ILMN broadened its genotyping sequencing line. For National Institutes of Health's (NIH) new All of Us Research Program, the company has launched a high-density genotyping array, the Infinium Global Diversity Array.

In addition to this, the awarded genome centers will employ Illumina's NovaSeq 6000 Sequencing Platform to conduct the whole genome sequencing for the All of Us Research Program.

The All of Us Research Program: At a Glance

The All of Us Research Program is funded and led by NIH, which is part of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. This is a momentous effort to gather data from more than a million U.S. population to accelerate human disease research activity and improve overall health. This program claims to be one of the most ambitious biomedical research efforts ever undertaken in the United States. A successful execution of this program will build a nationwide community of the concerned participants from all walks of life including groups that have been historically underrepresented in research.

The All of Us Research Program granted funds totalling $28.6 million to three genome centers in the United States during September. These centers will generate genomic data from biosamples contributed by the program's participants. Ultimately, this information will become a critical component in the program's precision medicine research platform.

Illumina's Role

The enormous scope of this model pertaining to the future of healthcare has inspired Illumina to make a scientific contribution tothe All of Us Research Program.

The new Infinium Global Diversity Array will process up to one million samples to the three genome centers, at no cost. This array will be a high-density chip that has been designed to enable achievement of the project's primary genotyping-based goals. The array will be commercially available for others to use in mid-2019.

Prospects in Genetic Health Market

llumina is currently keeping pace with its focus to strengthen foothold in the multi-billion gene sequencing market with some highly competitive products in its existing portfolio and pipeline.

This market is developing rapidly on a global scale, which allowed the company to witness consistent growth in non-invasive prenatal test (NIPT) samples. Within the United States, positive NIPT reimbursement trends have been observed.

Outside the United States as well, the rate of NIPT adoption is high. Earlier this year, Illumina submitted four new IDD applications to extend the geographical opportunities for its VeriSeq NIPT product. In Europe, almost 100% pregnancies are covered for NIPT. Moreover, the company has well-contingent screening in Belgium, Netherlands, the U.K., France and Switzerland. Also, the German HDA publishing assessment acknowledged the diagnostic value of NIPT for trisomy 21, paving the way for its reimbursement approval in 2019. Moreover, with around 20 million pregnancies a year reported in China, the company has a significant scope to boost NIPT growth.

Management is expecting NIPT sales to be more than double in 2018, driven partly by the Dutch National contract, which the company was awarded during the fourth quarter of 2017, and some other key competitive wins. Overall, Illumina has been witnessing a strong demand environment for complex genetic testing lately, which we believe will reinforce the company's position in the broader molecular diagnostics market.

Share Price Performance

Over the past six months, shares of Illumina have outperformed its industry . The stock has rallied 13.1% versus the industry's 13.1% decline.

Zacks Rank & Other Key Picks

Illumina currently carries a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy). Some other top-ranked stocks in the broader medical space are Integer Holdings Corporation ITGR , Surmodics, Inc SRDX and Veeva Systems VEEV .

Integer Holdings has an earnings growth rate of 31.2% for the fourth quarter and a Zacks Rank of 2.

Surmodics' long-term earnings growth rate is projected at 10%. The stock is a Zacks #2 Ranked player.

Veeva Systems' long-term earnings growth rate is estimated at 19.2%. The stock 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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The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

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