Illumina, Mayo Clinic unite to ramp up next-gen genetic disorder testing

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Diagnostics giant Illumina is teaming up with Mayo Clinic to speed up the latter’s delivery of genetic and genomic expertise on inherited diseases. Mayo Clinic will test Illumina's next-gen tools and provide feedback to help Illumina in its ongoing product development.

Illumina's goal is to create an informatics system and knowledge base that can improve and automate the interpretation of genetics, according to a statement. To do this, the pair will combine their services and software and develop new tools to improve reporting workflows for Mayo Clinic’s research into inherited diseases.

Under the agreement, Mayo Clinic will test Illumina’s BaseSpace Clarity LIMS platform--a tool that tracks workflow and integration--in some of its labs. It will also report feedback to Illumina on its use of the BaseSpace Sequence Hub, a cloud-based genomics computing tool that manages and analyzes data, and the BaseSpace Variant Interpreter, a cloud-based platform built to cut down on the time and effort used in reporting and interpreting genomic data.

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“Through this relationship, we will be able to generate large volumes of genomic information, interrogate the data, and then compare it to what’s known about those variants and those genetic aberrations in real time, saving our geneticists time,” said Dr. William Morice II, chair of Mayo’s Department of Laboratory Medicine and Pathology and president of Mayo Medical Laboratories, in the statement. “We are pleased to work with Illumina and to leverage each other’s expertise in genetic sequencing and analysis.”

This isn’t Illumina’s first tie-up with Mayo Clinic. In August last year, Illumina, Warburg Pincus and Sutter Hill launched Helix, a $100 million venture dedicated to providing consumers with low-cost sequencing and database services via third-party partners. Their first partner? The Mayo Clinic, which signed on to investigate applications based on consumer education and health-related queries.