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Illumina, IDbyDNA Ink Partnership on NGS Technologies for Infectious Disease

NEW YORK – Illumina and metagenomics technology firm IDbyDNA announced a strategic partnership and comarketing agreement on Tuesday.

The firms said in a statement that they aim to provide "a complete, streamlined workflow solution for infectious disease applications" of next-generation sequencing, providing pathogen identification as well as information on antimicrobial resistance markers.

Under the terms of the agreement, the partners will comarket IDbyDNA's Explify platform for use with Illumina's NGS instruments and library preparation kits.

They will also codevelop research-use-only workflows, which have been "accelerated to provide improved support to customers globally [who are] performing NGS for surveillance purposes during the Covid-19 pandemic."

Financial and other terms of the agreement were not disclosed.

"We recognize that a key barrier to adoption of NGS for infectious disease testing has been the lack of simple, powerful bioinformatics software to turn the data generated by the sequencer into actionable insights," Illumina VP of Clinical Marketing Kathy Davy, said in a statement. "IDbyDNA's Explify Platform combined with Illumina's NGS systems and library preparation creates a powerful, comprehensive infectious disease workflow." 

The San Diego sequencing instrument maker has recently emphasized growing the clinical sequencing market, mostly in oncology, but also in infectious disease.

IDbyDNA's Explify data platform includes workflow management, metagenomic analysis, and reporting tools to help clinicians identify and characterize microorganisms. The University of Utah spinout, based in San Francisco with a lab in Salt Lake City has licensed Explify to Brazil-based Fleury Group and partnered on a clinical trial with Rady Children's Institute for Genomic Medicine. The firm raised $20 million in a Series B financing round in January.

Synergy Laboratories, based in Mobile, Alabama, has already signed on to offer the integrated workflow. "We realize that NGS-based testing in microbiology is the future of infectious disease testing," Synergy Laboratories CEO Brad Pitts said in a statement. The firm offers an NGS-based test for urinary tract infections.

"We are partnering with Illumina and IDbyDNA to bring this new technology to the Southeastern US market now and [to] start offering our clinicians and patients the most comprehensive infectious disease testing currently available," he said.