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Illumina Accelerator Expands to UK

NEW YORK – Illumina will bring its genomics startup incubator to the UK next year.

Illumina Accelerator will operate its first international location out of the firm's Europe, Middle East, and Africa headquarters in Cambridge, UK. The firm said in a statement that it was partnering with European venture capital firms including SV Health Investors, Sofinnova Partners, Seventure Partners, F-Prime Capital, and Illumina Ventures.

"With 21 years of experience advancing the field of genomics, Illumina is delighted to foster the next generation of global genomics innovators," Paula Dowdy, Illumina senior VP and general manager, commercial operations, EMEA, said in a statement. "With the launch of Illumina Accelerator Cambridge, we are expertly positioned to further catalyze the rapidly expanding genomics ecosystem across EMEA."

Illumina Accelerator began in the Bay Area in 2014 and has invested in 33 startups from around the world. Those companies have raised over $300 million, Illumina said.

Over two, six-month funding cycles, Illumina Accelerator will provide up to five startups with seed investment, access to Illumina sequencing systems and reagents, lab space, and business and genomics expertise. Illumina Accelerator Cambridge's inaugural funding cycle will begin in the spring of 2020.

"We look forward to partnering with leading entrepreneurs and venture investors to harness the unique strengths and genomics expertise in the UK and beyond," said Mostafa Ronaghi, Illumina CTO, senior VP, and cofounder of Illumina Accelerator. He noted that Illumina Accelerator-backed startups included firms pursuing "novel applications in therapeutics, diagnostics, software, and consumer genomics."

Applications for the UK and Bay Area funding cycles are due by Nov. 1.