Illumina has acquired Edico Genome, a provider of data analysis acceleration solutions for next-generation sequencing (NGS), with the goal of using Edico’s Dragen Bio-IT (Dragen) platform to develop a rapid sequencing workflow. Edico’s Dragen uses field programmable gate array technology in conjunction with proprietary software algorithms to reduce both the data footprint and time to result of genomic analysis. Dragen runs on-site, in the cloud, or in a hybrid mode, and is compatible with multiple cloud storage solutions and analysis pipelines. The Dragen platform complements Illumina’s sequencing portfolio, and Illumina hopes that it will enable customers to reduce investment in computing infrastructure and to focus more on result interpretation and reporting. Edico Genome has also built a strong base of NGS customers who have already incorporated Dragen as a standard part of their sequencing workflow. One notable example of this is Rady Children’s Institute of Genomic Medicine, which has successfully coupled Dragen with Illumina sequencers to accelerate the delivery of genomic insights for thse institute’s critically ill newborn patients.

“As the scale of sequencing expands, decreasing the cost and time of analysis will be important to fuel the clinical adoption of sequencing,” said Pieter van Rooyen, PhD, president and CEO of Edico Genome. “Our team is invigorated at the prospect of joining Illumina to combine our respective strengths to streamline and accelerate secondary analysis for the genomics community.”

Myriad to Buy Reproductive Genetic Testing Firm Counsyl

As part of a plan to enter the reproductive testing market, Myriad Genetics has signed an agreement to acquire Counsyl, a company that focuses on expanded carrier and noninvasive prenatal screening, for $375 million. Founded in 2007, Counsyl in the past year has generated more than $134 million in revenue. The company's expanded carrier screening test, Foresight, covers more than 175 clinically actionable conditions with an accuracy of greater than 99.99% across ethnicities for most genes on the panel. Counsyl’s portfolio also includes the noninvasive prenatal screening test Prelude. “By offering Counsyl’s best-in-class reproductive testing products in conjunction with Myriad’s leading hereditary cancer tests, we are well positioned to be the premier women’s health genetic testing company,” said Mark C. Capone, president and CEO of Myriad Genetics.

Johns Hopkins, Toronto’s Mount Sinai Hospital to Use BGI’s Genomic Technology

The China-based global genomics company BGI has entered partnerships with Mount Sinai Hospital in Toronto, Canada, and Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore that will leverage BGI’s sequencing technologies. Under the company’s agreement with the Sinai Health System, the partners will develop a genomics-based diagnostic test for the early identification of women at risk for pre-term birth and other pregnancy complications. To support this collaboration study on-site, BGI will place a BGISEQ next-generation sequencing platform at Sinai Health, which will mark the first installation of the BGISEQ platform in North America.

Through BGI’s collaboration with Johns Hopkins, the company will use its sequencing technologies to help build a genomic and immunogenomic database of pancreatic cancer malignancies in support of the Hopkins Pancreatic Cancer Precision Medicine Center of Excellence (PMCoE) program. BGI and Johns Hopkins researchers will also develop a joint research program to analyze the data collected from the PMCoE program, with a focus on biomarker discovery, validation, and neoepitope predictions related to patient survival and drug response and resistance.

Siemens, Hill-Rom to Provide Integrated Suite of Diabetes Testing Solutions

Siemens Healthineers and Hill-Rom have signed an agreement to co-market a suite of point-of-care diagnostic instruments designed to bridge gaps in primary care for diabetes patients. The integrated offering incorporates the Siemens Healthineers DCA Vantage and Clinitek Status + Urine Chemistry analyzers with Hill-Rom’s Welch Allyn RetinaVue Network and imaging technology. The DCA Vantage monitors a patient’s glycemic control with HbA1c testing, and the Clinitek Status + Urine Chemistry analyzer enables providers to perform a kidney check with albumin-to-creatinine ratio testing; both CLIA-waived tests generate results in minutes. With the Welch Allyn RetinaVue Network offering, providers perform in-office diabetic retinal exams by transmitting retinal images to a nationwide team of board-certified ophthalmologists for interpretation. By offering these three solutions together, Siemens and Hill-Rom hope to enable providers to test and treat diabetes patients in a single visit and to enable healthcare systems to adopt a more holistic and streamlined approach to diabetes care.

Foundation Medicine, Roche, Dian Team on Personalized Cancer Care in China

Foundation Medicine, Roche, and Dian Diagnostics have joined forces to integrate Foundation Medicine’s comprehensive genomic profiling (CGP) assays, Foundation One, FoundationACT, and FoundationOne Heme, into cancer care in China. All three oncology tests provide information about the genomic signature of a patient’s disease in order to guide treatment decisions. Under the agreement, Roche will maintain commercial exclusivity for Foundation Medicine’s products in China, and in cooperation with Dian will continue its current in-country activities to support the broad integration of CGP into clinical care. In turn, Dian—a developer and supplier of Chinese medical diagnostic products and services—will become the exclusive clinical sequencing partner in China for Foundation Medicine’s CGP assays.