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Illumina, SmartGene Ink Comarketing Deal for NGS in Infectious Disease, Food, QC Testing

This article has been updated to include additional information about the scope of the agreement.

NEW YORK – SmartGene said on Tuesday that it has signed a comarketing and collaboration agreement with Illumina for next-gen sequencing-based food safety and authenticity, infectious disease, and manufacturing quality control testing.

Under the terms of the agreement, the firms will jointly promote Illumina's next-generation sequencing products alongside SmartGene's software applications and proprietary primers for food authenticity and integrity testing. They will also collaborate on clinical microbiology and biopharmaceutical manufacturing quality control applications, and develop white papers and application notes.

Financial and other terms of the deal were not disclosed.

"NGS technologies have revolutionized life science research," SmartGene Founder and CEO Stefan Emler said in a statement. "However, applying NGS to routine [food] testing has been limited so far." The collaboration, he said, would "broaden the use of NGS in routine testing."

Switzerland-based SmartGene offers software-as-a-service apps for analysis, interpretation, and management of genetic data.

Earlier this year, the company announced an agreement with researchers at Johns Hopkins University to compare different sequencing technologies and bioinformatics tools for identifying bacteria and fungi in routine clinical microbiology patient samples.

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