Illumina and Roche Partnership Advances Genomic Sequencing

Updated January 29, 2020

Improvements in personalized medicine will make it possible for patients to eliminate many if not all the symptoms of inherited diseases once thought incurable.

Consequently, many genomic sequencing companies today are committed to accessing the power of the genome to make it easier for patients to benefit from the insights of available research. 

Although the high cost of development and testing new solutions slows down research, one effective and cost-efficient solution is to build partnerships to share technical and financial resources. 

Collaboration between companies with different technological inventions, research data, and subject-matter experts, reduces costs and increases the pool of available resources.

In the long run, such collaboration between global leaders in genomics will spur innovations in personalized medicine and other scientific disciplines.

Collaboration Accelerates Science 

A recent example of this high-level partnership occurred when Illumina entered a 15-year non-exclusive agreement to collaborate with Roche, a world-class diagnostic company.

The agreement, announced at a JP Morgan Healthcare Conference in San Francisco on January 6, will involve collaboration in marketing, companion diagnostic systems (CDx) development, and next-generation sequencing in-vitro diagnostics.

This collaboration between Illumina and Roche will reduce the expense of sequencing without making concessions on accuracy.

The most obvious advantage of the partnership between Illumina and Roche will be to make it easier for patients to benefit from access to genomic testing.

Researchers also expect the mutually beneficial agreement to speed up the adoption of next-generation sequencing assays by oncologists. 

Both parties will benefit in a number of significant ways from the agreement. Roche will get the right to develop as well as distribute its in-vitro diagnostic tests by using Illumina’s groundbreaking technology, NextSeq 550 Dx System.

In turn, Roche will complement Illumina’s TruSight Oncology 500 (TSO 500), an extensive cancer assay, with CDx, a new companion diagnostic system. 

Driving down costs will also help Illumina advance two of its leading projects, NextSeq 1000 and 2000. These groundbreaking sequencing systems will expand the genomic science and make it possible for small and medium research laboratories to access these benchtop sequencers.

The innovative design features of these sequencing systems allow researchers to enjoy an intuitive workflow and simplified bioinformatics. 

Significance of Genomic Science

Now is an exciting time for science in many fields, especially in emerging fields like genomic science, which is completely changing our understanding of how nature works at a microscopic level. 

genome is an organism’s genetic material, it’s DNA, and it includes genes, noncoding DNA, mitochondrial DNA, and chloroplast DNA. It’s now possible to not only sequence all of a person’s DNA but also to compare the genomes of different species. 

Genomic science will help advance personalized medicine and improve our understanding of how environmental changes affect organisms. 

Growth of Personalized Medicine 

The most-lauded benefit of the field of genomics is that it is ushering in an era of personalized medicine. For instance, it helps predict how an individual or a tumor will react to a new drug. 

In the future, doctors will probably not bother with stethoscopes and questionnaires but will make clinical decisions on a patient’s treatment based on an understanding of their genomic information.

Doctors will be able to instantly decide whether a particular drug recommended for a disease or condition will heal their patients or harm them. 

Impact of Environmental Changes

Besides advancing personalized medicine, another major benefit of genomics is understanding how our species and others will react to environmental changes. 

Many diverse elements are changing the environment: electromagnetic frequencies, industrial pollutants, contamination from nuclear weapons testing, and climate change.

Noticeable environmental changes are subjecting all organisms to new evolutionary pressures. While scientists can analyze some changes immediately, they will only understand other changes after a considerable amount of time.

Genomic analyses are helping naturalists, ecologists, and other scientists understand the impact of environmental changes on the life history of organisms.

Genomics is predicting adaptational patterns to environmental changes, something which was not possible before. 

Partnerships Advance Genomic Science 

Because microbiological research is intricate, expensive, and difficult, cooperation between key players in the field makes groundbreaking research easier.

Moreover, partnerships between leading microbiology companies not only improve the efficacy and rate of innovation for both companies but also benefit humanity.

The collaboration between global leaders in array-based technologies such as Illumina and Roche will benefit clinical, research, and applied markets.

This collaboration between two giants in genomics research and development signals yet another advance for genomic science.

The new partnership will advance science and benefit patients with genomic-based disorders in two significant ways: it will improve existing technologies while reducing the costs of genome sequencing and genome analysis. 

Besides improvements in personalized medicine, such large-scale and long-term collaborations will also open up many other fields of scientific inquiry, such as agriculture, life sciences, reproduction, and oncology.