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Illumina, Annoroad Partner to Develop NGS-based Dx for Reproductive Health

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb) – Illumina and Beijing-based genomics firm Annoroad plan to codevelop next-generation sequencing-based clinical tests within the reproductive health field, including a "user-friendly, prenatal DNA diagnostic system" for the Chinese market, the companies said today.

The collaboration will combine Annoroad's nucleic acid extraction, library preparation, and data analysis software with Illumina's sequencing technology.

"Non-invasive prenatal testing is used widely in the reproductive health arena, and we hope to promote it as a standard practice in hospitals," Junbin Liang, Annoroad's founder and CEO, said in a statement. Liang added that China's National Health and Family Planning Commission had previously appointed Annoroad as one of China's first national clinical pilot sites for NGS.

"Illumina is very excited to collaborate with Annoroad to increase access to reproductive health solutions in China," Tristan Orpin, senior vice president and general manager of Illumina's Reproductive and Genetic Health business, said in a statement.

The alliance comes a day after Illumina said that it is collaborating with Germany's Merck KGaA and Australian fertility firm Genea to improve fertility-related technologies and laboratory processes.

Aside from reproductive health, Annoroad has also developed NGS diagnostics in the field of cancer and rare disease. The firm also provides sequencing and bioinformatics services for research.