Illumina Announces Acquisition Of Edico Genome

May 16, 2018

By Bio-IT World Staff

May 16, 2018 | Yesterday, Illumina announced that it has acquired Edico Genome for $100 million. Edico’s DRAGEN Bio-IT Platform (DRAGEN) uses field programmable gate array (FPGA) technology in conjunction with proprietary software algorithms to reduce both data footprint and time to results.

The announcement was made the first day of the Bio-IT World Conference & Expo, something Illumina says is no accident.

“We wanted to show that we’re focusing on informatics solutions for the community and this just seemed like the perfect venue,” Susan Tousi, Senior Vice President of Product Development at Illumina, told Bio-IT World. “Edico was already planning to be here, and we thought, why not use this [event] as our launch vehicle.”

The DRAGEN platform complements Illumina’s sequencing portfolio and enables customers to benefit from reduced investment in compute infrastructure, and accelerated result times, to improve their overall efficiency and to allow greater emphasis on interpretation and reporting.

Tousi says that Edico’s ability to build the DRAGEN platform into a solution for the acceleration of secondary analysis played a key role in Illumina’s interest in the company.

“Bringing [DRAGEN] to Illumina so that we can get closer to this kind of push button from data acquisition to analysis will really simplify our customers’ workflow. We’re passionate about doing that, we’re passionate about breaking down the barriers to genomics, starting with the cost and ease of use of our sequencers. We see this as our next step.”

DRAGEN can be run on premise, in the cloud, or in a hybrid mode, and is flexible and compatible for use with multiple cloud storage solutions and analysis pipelines. So far Edico has built a strong base of NGS customers who have incorporated DRAGEN as a standard part of their sequencing workflow.

“Right now, labs can’t compare results that easily because the first question is, what analysis pipeline did you run?” says Tousi. “We see this as an opportunity to break standardization on secondary analysis so that the data coming from different labs is much more comparable. That’s what’s going to drive new discovery, clinical utility, and actionability.”