SAN DIEGO — Illumina will next month open an office in São Paulo, Brazil, to focus on developing business opportunities across Latin America. The firm said this week that it has tapped Roberto Braga to be general manager of its new Latin American Operations and that the office will open Feb. 1.
According to CEO Jay Flatley, Illumina has always done business in Latin America, both directly and through distributors. Still, he said that business there has "been increasing over the last couple years" and is "pretty robust."
Flatley discussed the firm's expansion in Latin America with BioArray News at the Plant and Animal Genome Conference held here last week.
He said that, given the region's economies, Illumina's offerings to the market will "clearly be focused on agricultural applications." Flatley noted that the firm's recently expanded iSelect custom array offering could be an "entry point" for customers, as well as some of its catalog chips for agricultural biotechnology research. "The array market should grow there nicely," he said.
He also said that the Latin American region could be a "great market" for some of the firm's sequencing platforms, such as the recently launched MiSeq, as well as its Eco real-time PCR system.
In addition to hiring Braga, who previously held similar positions at Dako Diagnostics and Applied Biosystems, Illumina will soon add support to the office in São Paulo, the largest city in South America. Flatley said that the firm has also obtained a facility that will serve as a sales office. "Before someone would fly from Southern California to meet with customers," he said. "Now we have a place where customers can come and have meetings."
Flatley said that Illumina will upgrade its presence in São Paulo "proportional to how the business expands." In addition to its US facilities, Illumina maintains offices in the UK, the Netherlands, Singapore, Japan, Australia, and China.