Illumina inks $17M FDA Dx contract

Diagnostics player Illumina ($ILMN) won an FDA contract worth up to $17 million over 5 years to deploy its sequencing and diagnostics technology to detect foodborne pathogens.

The San Diego company will use its MiSeq sequencing systems and related equipment to conduct genetic testing for salmonella and E. coli. This latest agreement will help the FDA expand the capacity beyond the MiSeq systems it already uses, and also include training.

Such an agreement proves that Illumina can certainly stand on its own even as Big Pharma companies continue to covet and pursue genetic/molecular diagnostics partnerships and acquisitions all over town. Earlier this year, it successfully resisted a $7.6 billion hostile takeover bid from Roche ($RHHBY), for example, and others could be likely.

The FDA deal will also help Illumina with revenue generation. The company's $281 million in revenue during its fiscal 2012 second quarter dipped about 2% compared to the same period in 2011. Net income also dropped during the quarter, to $23 million, compared to $31 million in the fiscal 2011 second quarter. Illumina's first quarter generated better net income results, but revenue dipped year-over-year.

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