MARCY L’ETOILE, France & SAN DIEGO--(BUSINESS WIRE)--bioMérieux, a world leader in the field of in vitro diagnostics, and Illumina (Nasdaq:ILMN), a world leader in genomics, announced they have signed an exclusive agreement to launch a next-generation sequencing (NGS) epidemiology solution for service labs. The two companies will jointly develop applications for microbiology sequencing technologies within a four-year renewable period.
The first application will be an NGS epidemiological solution offered by service labs for genotyping disease agents. The high resolution of NGS combined with bioMerieux’s industry-leading knowledge in microbiology will provide easily accessible and highly accurate information to communities and hospitals to track, prevent, contain and stop the spread of disease agents.
The solution will combine Illumina’s MiSeq® sequencing system with a jointly developed pathogen genome database based on bioMérieux’s culture collection. This collection, which contains over 80,000 references, constitutes one of the largest libraries of bacterial strains in the world, and will contribute to creating a database of unprecedented scope with information about virulence and microbial resistance characteristics. The service will deliver a standardized report with a genomic profile of the infectious agents, with sequence-level accuracy and depth of information.
“We are extremely pleased about this partnership with Illumina, a world leader in genomic solutions. In line with our pioneering spirit, this collaboration in epidemiology will allow us to provide an innovative solution within hospital settings for sequencing bacteria. It is particularly suited to the growing need to combat infectious diseases, one of the major global public health challenges today,” said Jean-Luc Belingard, Chairman of bioMérieux. “With this new collaboration, we will enrich our commercial offering by adding a sequencing solution dedicated to infectious diseases. Moreover, this collaboration is a first step that will enable bioMérieux to identify opportunities and fields of application that sequencing can bring to infectious disease diagnostics.”
“This partnership combines Illumina’s internationally recognized expertise in the development of sequencing solutions with bioMérieux’s unique and extensive understanding of infectious agents,” said Jay Flatley, Chief Executive Officer of Illumina. “We are excited by the opportunity to expand the number of NGS-based applications in the infectious disease market with a solution designed for epidemiology and hospital infection control.”
The ultimate goal of the Illumina-bioMérieux epidemiology solution will be to enable public health and hospital microbiology laboratories to contain an epidemic, avoid transmission of infectious agents, and improve hospital practices where needed. Those facing a suspected epidemic or health crisis will be able to send the relevant isolates to a designated laboratory equipped with an Illumina sequencing system. The genetic sequences will be sent via a secure cloud platform to be analyzed, using the database and software developed by bioMérieux, which will also generate a customized report for the customer. The precise results will be presented seamlessly, in an easily understandable graphical format identifying the infectious agent as well as the sequence-based genetic variations that would assist in understanding its transmission.
SEQUENCING: A GAME-CHANGING TOOL FOR EPIDEMIOLOGY OF INFECTIOUS DISEASES
Over time, bacteria that cause infections develop antibiotic resistance mechanisms. Healthcare professionals are concerned about the emergence and reappearance of certain infectious diseases, especially when associated with epidemics and severe health crises. In response to these new public health challenges, suitable epidemiological surveillance tools must be developed to manage infectious risks effectively.
When used as an epidemiologic tool, sequencing will allow laboratories to obtain extremely precise information about disease agents believed to be involved in infection transmission or as the cause of outbreaks and epidemics. Sequencing will make it possible to establish a correlation between the different characteristics of an infectious agent, to determine the chronology of transmission, and to monitor its spread. This wealth of information will facilitate and speed decisions by public health physicians and nurses specialized in infection control so they can take effective measures to contain and stop the spread of these disease agents.
A world leader in the field of in vitro diagnostics for 50 years, bioMérieux is present in more than 150 countries through 41 subsidiaries and a large network of distributors. In 2013, bioMérieux’s revenues reached €1,588 million with 87% of sales outside of France.
bioMérieux provides diagnostic solutions (reagents, instruments, software) which determine the source of disease and contamination to improve patient health and ensure consumer safety. Its products are used for diagnosing infectious diseases and providing high medical value results for cancer screening and monitoring and cardiovascular emergencies. They are also used for detecting microorganisms in agri-food, pharmaceutical and cosmetic products.
Illumina is transforming human health as the global leader in sequencing and array-based technologies. The company serves customers in a broad range of markets, enabling the adoption of genomic solutions in research and clinical settings. To learn how Illumina is unlocking the power of the genome, visit www.illumina.com and follow @illumina.