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Illumina's (ILMN) New Alliance to Accelerate Genomics in China

Illumina, Inc. ILMN recently formed an alliance with investment firm Sequoia Capital China to launch a genomics incubator in China. Jointly, the companies announced the selection of the first two startup companies joining the Sequoia Capital China Intelligent Healthcare Genomics Incubator, Powered by Illumina. The incubator serves as a company creation engine to support life sciences startups poised to offer breakthrough applications in genomics and multiomics.

The establishment of this startup incubator demonstrates Illumina's commitment to supporting the development of the genomics industry in China and is an essential part of the company's long-term localization strategy.

Few Words on Illumina for Startups

Illumina's genomics incubator initiative -- Illumina for Startups -- focuses on creating an innovative ecosystem for the genomics industry by partnering venture capital investors with entrepreneurs to create, launch, and grow genomics startups.

Illumina for Startups initiatives include Illumina Accelerator, founded in 2014, and Sequoia Capital China Intelligent Healthcare Genomics Incubator, Powered by Illumina, launched in 2021.

Illumina Accelerator has invested in 61 genomics startups globally, collectively raising more than $1.00 billion in venture capital funding. Applications for the second funding cycle are open until Mar 1, 2022.

More on the News   

The first startup selected for the inaugural funding cycle is Mobidrop Biotechnology -- a medical device and research tools company developing cutting-edge, single-cell sequencing microfluidic technologies for molecular diagnostics applications.

The second startup selected is Sequanta Technologies -- a multiomics company committed to building DNA, RNA, epitome, and proteomics technology platforms for research and clinical applications.

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Further, the startups will be selected twice a year to join the incubator for a six-month funding cycle and Sequoia Capital China will offer them access to investment and business guidance.

Significance of the Launch

The incubator's launch marks a new milestone for genomics startups and entrepreneurs in China. Together with Sequoia Capital China and leading genomics entrepreneurs, Illumina looks forward to unlocking the power of the genome to improve human health in China and beyond.

Per Illumina’s management, by leveraging this first-of-its-kind platform and together with Sequoia Capital China, the company continues to expand China's biotechnology innovation and business presence as well as advance groundbreaking discoveries with the aim to help millions of patients in China and around the world.

Industry Prospects

Per a report by MarketsandMarkets, the global genomics market was valued at $18.9 billion in 2019 and is projected to reach $35.7 billion by 2024, at a CAGR of 13.5%. Factors like growing institutional support for genomic research projects, a significant decrease in sequencing costs and increasing applications of genomics are likely to drive the market.

Recent Developments

In November 2021, Illumina announced that its sequencing and bioinformatics solutions are being used by HostSeq, part of the Canadian COVID-19 Genomics Network, to spot biomarkers that can help predict the potential risk of serious diseases and support the development of novel therapeutics to tackle COVID-19.

In the same month, Illumina, in collaboration with Genetic Alliance, announced the establishment of the iHope Genetic Health program. This development aims to provide whole-genome sequencing access (WGS) to low- and middle-income communities around the world impacted by genetic disease.

Price Performance

Shares of the company have gained 23.4% in a year against the industry’s fall of 14.1%.

Zacks Rank and Key Picks

Illumina currently carries a Zacks Rank #5 (Strong Sell).

A few better-ranked stocks from the broader medical space are Chemed Corporation CHE, Laboratory Corporation of America Holdings, or LabCorp LH and Medpace Holdings, Inc. MEDP.

Chemed, carrying a Zacks Rank #2, has a long-term earnings growth rate of 7.7%. The company surpassed earnings estimates in three of the trailing four quarters and missed in one. It has a trailing four-quarter earnings surprise of 5.6%, on average.

Chemed has outperformed the industry in the past year. CHE has gained 3.7% against a 35.6% decline of the industry.

LabCorp, carrying a Zacks Rank #2, reported third-quarter 2021 adjusted earnings per share (EPS) of $6.82. The bottom line surpassed the Zacks Consensus Estimate by 42.9%. Revenues of $4.06 billion outpaced the Zacks Consensus Estimate by 13.4%. You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here.

LabCorp has an estimated long-term growth rate of 10.6%. LH has a trailing four-quarter earnings surprise of 25.7%, on average.

Medpace reported third-quarter 2021 adjusted EPS of $1.29, surpassing the Zacks Consensus Estimate by 20.6%. Revenues of $295.57 million beat the Zacks Consensus Estimate by 1.2%.

Medpace has an estimated long-term growth rate of 16.4%. MEDP has a trailing four-quarter earnings surprise of 11.9%, on average. It currently sports a Zacks Rank #2.

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