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Illumina Strikes Deals With Philips, IBM to Interpret Cancer Genomic Data

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb) – Illumina announced two separate collaborations today, with Royal Philips and with IBM, to advance the analysis and interpretation of genomic data for cancer.

The company's strategic collaboration with Philips aims to integrate Illumina's sequencing systems and Philips' IntelliSpace Genomics clinical informatics platform and to coordinate marketing and sales of the combined solution.

Genomic data from Illumina's instruments will be acquired using the BaseSpace Sequence Hub and processed through Philips' IntelliSpace Genomics solution for oncology, which combines data from multiple sources, such as radiology, immunohistochemistry, digital pathology, medical records, and lab tests. Labs adopting the solution will have access to advanced analytics, deep learning technologies and literature, guidelines, and other evidence in a single view.

In addition, Philips and Illumina plan to collaborate on clinical research with health systems in the US that want to develop precision medicine programs in oncology.

"Until now the ability to use genomic data with the aim of having a precise diagnosis of cancer and improve treatment was mostly for the domain of academic centers," said Jeroen Tas, CEO of Connected Care and Health Informatics at Philips, in a statement. "Through this collaboration we will unlock the value of genomics for a much wider group of laboratories and care providers to help them advance genomics initiatives at greater speed with the aim to offer precision medicine with better outcomes for their patients."

"We believe that this collaboration will provide an excellent path for our next-generation sequencing systems to be incorporated into health systems in the US and worldwide," Francis deSouza, president and CEO of Illumina, added in a statement.

Separately, IBM and Illumina plan to integrate Watson for Genomics and Illumina's BaseSpace and tumor sequencing process in order to standardize and simplify genomic data interpretation.

As a result, researchers using Illumina's TruSight Tumor 170 cancer sequencing panel will have access to information to help interpret the variant data. In particular, Watson for Genomics will comb professional guidelines, medical literature, clinical trials compendia, and other sources to provide information for each genomic alteration and to produce a report in a process that will take minutes.

The Watson for Genomics software, which adds data from about 10,000 scientific articles and 100 new clinical trials every month, will be available early this year to support the TruSight Tumor 170 assay.

"To enable precision cancer medicine on a large scale, we need new tools to overcome the data barriers of genomic research,” said John Leite, vice president of oncology at Illumina, in a statement. "With a comprehensive assay of Illumina and the power of Watson, we hope to deliver a rapid turnaround of the genomic alteration results."

"This partnership lays the groundwork for more systematic study of the impact of genomics in oncology," said Deborah DiSanzo, general manager of IBM Watson Health, in a statement. "Together we are poised to help researchers realize the potential of precision oncology by expanding access to valuable genome sequencing from Illumina and reliable, standardized genomic interpretation from Watson."