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Illumina, Merck KGaA, Genea Form Fertility Alliance

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb) – Illumina today announced an alliance with Germany's Merck KGaA and Australian fertility firm Genea to improve fertility-related technologies and laboratory processes.

The alliance will work to standardize assisted reproductive treatment (ART) laboratory processes. "This will ensure a consistently high level of performance between different centers and countries," Merck KGaA Head of Global Strategy and Franchises Meeta Gulyani said in a statement.

The firms said they will attempt to integrate the leading fertility technologies, collaborate with healthcare professionals and medical societies to develop global standards, and develop educational resources for healthcare professionals including training curricula, workshops, access to model labs, symposia, and events at medical meetings.

The firms said they would establish a board of representatives and welcome new partners who have demonstrated a consistent commitment to innovating and improving ART to join the alliance.

Illumina, which offers Verinata Health's Verifi noninvasive prenatal test for fetal aneuploidies, has aimed to expand its presence in the reproductive health market. The firm signed a collaborative agreement with Reprogenetics in October 2014 to develop next-generation sequencing-based in vitro fertilization technologies.