Illumina partners with Partners HealthCare to combine sequencing and software

Illumina has sealed another deal that bolsters its new cloud computing system for genomics. The San Diego-based genomics company ($ILMN) and Partners HealthCare in Boston have agreed to combine technologies, supporting the use of the hospital system's GeneInsight software to interpret sequencing data from Illumina's MiSeq system in a seamless fashion.

The deal fuels Illumina's efforts to provide a cloud computing backbone for clinical customers to store data from the company's next-generation sequencing systems and eventually tap a menu of software options for pinpointing desired insights from stockpiles of genomic information. These capabilities serve genomics researchers in academia, corporate and hospital labs, all of which face a logjam in interpreting the vast amounts of genomic data from increasingly accessible DNA sequencing systems.

Partners HealthCare hospitals, which include Massachusetts General and Brigham and Women's in Boston, have used the GeneInsight software to support thousands of genetic tests since 2005, according to a joint press release issued Tuesday. Illumina and Partners plan to bring their combined service, which includes the software and MiSeq sequencing technology, to "select" pilot users in clinical testing labs. The plan is to link the tools to Illunina's BaseSpace cloud computing platform, MyGenome app for the iPad and laboratory information systems. Illumina also plans to use the software in its own sequencing lab.

When Illumina announced the commercial release of BaseSpace in July, the company said that an app store for its cloud computing system would become available in the fourth quarter of 2012. The GeneInsight adds a new software option on BaseSpace for clinical users, which offers an important growth opportunity for Illumina as genomic sequencing catches on in hospitals and medical centers to aid in research and diagnoses.

- here's the release