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Sony, M3 Form Genomics Company in Japan; Illumina Signs on as Investor, Partner

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb News) – Sony Corporation and M3 plan to establish a new company in Japan by the end of February 2014 in which Illumina will be a minority investor. Additionally, the three firms will collaborate to launch a new genome information platform in Japan, the firms said today.

The new company will provide genome analysis services in Japan and will also aggregate genome data with medical data and other related information.

"I'm very excited by the potential of this collaboration to deliver new services and breakthroughs that bring us ever closer to the realization of the personalized medicine and healthcare era," Tadashi Saito, corporate executive officer and executive vice president, officer in charge of Sony's Medical Business, said in a statement.

The goal of the new entity is to "facilitate genome research that further advances Japanese medical care, and in the future establish a new service platform for the medical industry," Saito added.

The business will combine "each of the company's unique strengths and resources," Itaru Tanimura, representative director of M3, said in the statement.

Illumina CEO Jay Flatley said that using genomic information for clinical decision making, personalized medicine, and population health initiatives will "require significant data collection and analysis, and we are excited to work with Sony and M3 to build a powerful genomic database and lay the groundwork to support population health in Japan."

The collaboration with Sony and M3 follows two recently announced deals between Illumina and clinical lab firms. Earlier this week, Illumina announced an agreement with Laboratory Corporation of America that gave LabCorp expanded rights to use Illumina's instruments to develop laboratory-developed tests to clinicians in the US and Canada, and earlier in January it announced a multi-year supply deal with Quest Diagnostics, providing that firm with NGS technologies to develop molecular diagnostics. Quest also formed a similar deal with Life Technologies.

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