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Illumina enlisted for bioinformatics on 100,000 Genomes Project in U.K.

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Illumina ($ILMN) was right at the core of a plan unveiled in August 2014 by the U.K. government to map 100,000 human genomes by 2017. Its early role focused on whole genome sequencing, but now the genomics giant has also been tapped for bioinformatics as well.

Genomics England, the private company owned by the U.K. Department of Health created to deliver the 100,000 Genomes Project, has said that it is partnering with Illumina to develop a platform to improve and automate genomic interpretation. The idea is to enable researchers and physicians to more easily access the information being generated.

The deal also gives Genomics England access to Illumina tools NexBio and BaseSpace for data access and genomic management. The 100,000 Genomes dataset will be available as a pilot within NextBio for cohort analysis of phenotypic and genotypic data based on de-identified genomes.

Genomics England Executive Chairman John Chisholm

"This agreement allows Genomics England to access Illumina's bioinformatics knowledge and experience to support our ambitions of transforming patient care and research," said Genomics England Executive Chairman John Chisholm in a statement. "We are both committed to patients benefiting from genomic analysis across the NHS and to supporting clinicians and researchers in finding new genomic insights. Illumina is our key sequencing partner and they are now able to also support us, alongside our other partners, in solving the challenges of delivering clinical reporting and knowledge curation at a national scale."

Under the original 2014 deal, Illumina was slated to do whole genome sequencing worth about £78 million. The company also committed to investing about £162 million over the four-year project to create new knowledge and jobs in genomic sequencing. The financial terms of the bioinformatics partnership were not disclosed.

Genomic England has four primary goals, which have largely eluded genomics thus far: to bring benefit to patients; to create an ethical and transparent program based on consent; to enable new scientific discovery and medical insights; and to start the development of a U.K. genomics industry.

"Our partnership with Genomics England will help change the way healthcare is practiced," said Illumina Chairman and CEO Jay Flatley. "The development of our suite of technologies and platforms is critical to enabling physicians in the future to make educated diagnoses based on a patient's genome which will lead to better health outcomes."

- here is the announcement

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