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Illumina Names First International Fellow for Accelerator Program

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb) – Illumina announced that it has named the Center of Individualized Diagnostic (CID), an organization focused on bringing genomic-based cancer diagnostics to Saudi Arabia, as an international fellow of its accelerator program.

The Illumina Accelerator program was launched in 2014 to support startups and early-stage companies working on next-generation sequencing technologies and applications. Now in its fourth funding cycle, the accelerator has invested in firms including PathoGn, Encoded Genomics, Xcell Biosciences, and MetaMixis. The newly introduced Illumina Accelerator Fellow program involves partnerships with international genomics groups to bring precision medicine and NGS to patient populations. CID is the first such international fellow to be named.

CID was established by Harvard-trained pathologist Malak Abed Al-Thagafi and entrepreneur Ahmed Al-Bader, both of whom were born and raised in Saudi Arabia.

"There's an extraordinary amount of advancement and opportunity in the field of genomics and NGS but it hasn’t yet carried over to Saudi Arabia," Al-Bader said in a statement. "We are working to bring the benefit of this important technology to our country and to improve lives, starting with cancer diagnostics."

Illumina Accelerator Co-founder and Head Amanda Cashin added that the program aims to help genomics startups build their companies and teams, secure partnerships, network, and develop go-to-market strategies. "We're proud to partner with CID as part of our fourth class and help bring genomics to Saudi Arabia."