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Illumina, Sequoia Capital China Partner on Genomics Incubator in China

NEW YORK – Illumina and Sequoia Capital China said on Sunday that they are jointly establishing a genomics-focused startup incubator in China.

"Illumina has a successful track record of creating venture-backed genomics startup companies through Illumina Accelerator in the US and UK," Illumina CEO Francis deSouza said in a statement. "Together with Sequoia Capital China, we will now partner with leading entrepreneurs in China to build genomics startup companies that unlock powerful breakthrough genomics applications and clinical sequencing solutions that harness the unique strengths and dynamic markets in China."

During two six-month funding cycles per year, the new endeavor, called "Sequoia Capital China Intelligent Healthcare Genomics Incubator, Powered by Illumina," will provide selected startups with access to investment and business guidance from Sequoia Capital China, Illumina sequencing systems and reagents, as well as genomics expertise and lab space in Shanghai. The inaugural funding cycle will begin this fall.

The collaboration follows Illumina's Accelerator programs in the Bay Area, launched in 2014, and Cambridge, UK, launched last year. Illumina Accelerator has invested in 45 genomics startups that have collectively raised nearly $600 million in venture capital funding.

Earlier this month, Sequoia Capital China, an affiliate of US venture capital firm Sequoia Capital, participated in NuProbe's $42 million financing round, and in 2019, it participated in Burning Rock's $126 million Series C financing round.