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Illumina, Belgium Genetic Centers Partner on WGS-Based Diagnostics; Evercore Upgrades Illumina Shares

NEW YORK – Illumina and the Belgian Genetic Centers said on Tuesday they are partnering to evaluate whole-genome sequencing to diagnose patients with intellectual disabilities and developmental disorders in routine care.

Under the terms of their agreement, the Belgian Resolve Rare Diseases group will run a study recruiting 800 pediatric patients and their parents. Half of the patients and parents will be randomly assigned to the WGS arm and half will receive either whole-exome sequencing or microarray-based diagnosis. The study will also assess the economic impact of WGS.

Illumina will provide sequencing reagents. Financial and other terms of the agreement were not disclosed.

Separately, Illumina announced that it is launching noninvasive prenatal diagnostic testing on the VeriSeq v2 platform in Thailand as part of a partnership with Next Generation Genomic, a genetic testing company in that country.

The news comes as investment bank Evercore ISI upgraded shares of Illumina to an In Line rating with a price target of $400.

In early morning trading on the Nasdaq, shares of Illumina were flat at $406.30.