Illumina acquires Edico to integrate its Dragen NGS system

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Illumina expects the acquisition will help deliver a more streamlined sample-to-answer experience while reducing customer investments in data analysis infrastructure. (Illumina)

DNA sequencer manufacturer Illumina has bought Edico Genome and its Dragen next-generation sequencing and data analysis platform. The terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Dragen uses field programmable gate array technology, along with proprietary algorithms, to reduce overall data footprint and the time to results, the company said in a statement announcing the buy, describing the system as complementary to Illumina’s sequencing portfolio.

“Our acquisition of Edico Genome is a big step toward realizing the vision of reducing sequencing data acquisition and analysis to a push-button, standardized process,” said Susan Tousi, senior VP of product development at Illumina.

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Illumina expects Dragen help the company “deliver a more streamlined and integrated sample-to-answer experience for [its] customers,” Tousi said. Able to run on-site or in the cloud, or as a hybrid of the two, the platform also allows users to reduce investment in computing infrastructure, the company said. The system is for research use only, and not for diagnostic procedures.

“As the scale of sequencing expands, decreasing the cost and time of analysis will be important to fuel the clinical adoption of sequencing,” said Pieter van Rooyen, president and CEO of San Diego-based Edico.

Earlier this year, Illumina unveiled its latest device—the iSeq 100 tabletop sequencer, with a price tag of $19,900—aiming to make next-generation sequencing the standard for discovery research and routine testing. The company hopes it will allow more researchers to study viruses, bacteria and other microbes.

And just last month, Illumina announced two separate deals with Bristol-Myers Squibb and Loxo Oncology to develop cancer tests and companion diagnostics for their treatments.

BMS will use Illumina’s next-generation sequencing to create in vitro diagnostics assessing tumor mutation burden and other potential biomarkers, while Loxo will develop a test that identifies the NTRK fusions and RET gene alterations targeted by its drugs.