Illumina, Inc. (ticker: ILMN, exchange: NASDAQ Global Select Market (.O))
News Release -
Illumina Signs SNP Genotyping Agreement with The Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute
Detailed Study May Accelerate Development of a Haplotype Map of the Human Genome
SAN DIEGO, CALIFORNIA, July 24, 2002 -- Illumina, Inc. announced today that it has signed a commercial genotyping agreement with the Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute to provide single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) genotyping services on an extensive SNP collection supplied by the Institute. This pioneering study - one of the largest of its type ever conducted -- is designed to provide a detailed haplotype map of a chromosomal DNA region and could involve millions of genotypes. The results are expected to help define a strategy for developing a haplotype map of the human genome. Under the terms of the agreement, Illumina will develop assays for the SNP collection provided by the Sanger Institute, and use its BeadArray technology to genotype specified SNPs in the sample set. Further details about the agreement were not disclosed.
Haplotypes identify regions of DNA that are shared between individuals, and in some cases are associated with predispositions to specific diseases. Regarding the potential significance of haplotyping, Mark Chee, Ph.D., Research Fellow at Illumina, explained, "It is believed that a haplotype map of the human genome will allow more rapid and efficient large-scale genetic association studies aimed at discovering common genetic variants contributing to human disease. Accordingly, the development of a comprehensive, high-resolution haplotype map based on the sequence of the human genome is a priority for the next phase of the human genome project."
Commenting on the agreement, Illumina President and CEO, Jay Flatley, stated, "The Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute stands at the forefront of genomic research. We're very pleased that the Institute has elected to expand their association with Illumina for this important initiative. Equally important, we're gratified that the Institute is continuing to work with us, using the BeadArray technology, which delivers accurate, cost-effective, high-capacity genotyping. The performance of the system is achieved through multiplex levels that are up to a hundred times higher than alternative technology platforms." "The combination of high throughput and low genotyping cost will be critical drivers and enablers of the haplotyping project and other large-scale genomics research projects," Flatley added.
This new genotyping study succeeds a pilot study that Illumina began for the Sanger Institute in late 2001, which achieved very high genotyping accuracy and call rate. The pilot study provided the basis to expand the collaboration between the Sanger Institute and Illumina.
Organizations like the Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute (http://www.sanger.ac.uk/) are expanding the scale of research devoted to identifying and studying genetic variations, which may --- individually or collectively - implicate specific disease genes and point the way to improved diagnostic and therapeutic development.
Illumina (Nasdaq: ILMN; www.illumina.com) is developing next-generation tools that will permit large-scale analysis of genetic variation and function. The Company's proprietary BeadArray technology can provide the throughput, cost effectiveness and flexibility necessary to enable researchers in the life sciences and pharmaceutical industries to perform the billions of tests necessary to extract medically valuable information from advances in genomics and proteomics. Illumina's technology will have applicability across a wide variety of industries beyond life sciences and pharmaceuticals, including agriculture, food, chemicals and petrochemicals.
"Safe Harbor" Statement under the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995: this release may contain forward-looking statements that involve risks and uncertainties. Among the important factors which could cause actual results to differ materially from those in the forward-looking statements are Illumina's ability to further develop its core BeadArray technologies for high-throughput genetic analysis, its ability to continue to manufacture oligonucleotides in sufficient quantity, and other factors detailed in the Company's filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission including its recent filings on Forms 10-K and 10-Q or in information disclosed in public conference calls, the date and time of which are released beforehand. Illumina disclaims any intent or obligation to update these forward-looking statements beyond the date of this release.
Illumina's BeadArray technology - now deployed as a high-throughput, fully integrated system within the Company's genotyping services operation, will be available for sale in the fourth quarter of this year. The turnkey system will include a confocal scanner, robots, LIMS software and licenses, Sentrix arrays, assay protocols, start-up assistance, and ongoing technical support to help ensure achievement of high multiplex levels (@ 1000 loci) and high throughput (>1 million genotypes per day).