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(Graphic: Business Wire)

Illumina, Inc. (NASDAQ:ILMN), a leading developer, manufacturer, and marketer of life science tools and integrated systems for the analysis of genetic variation and function, today sent a third letter to its stockholders highlighting Illumina’s tremendous growth prospects in the next generation sequencing market. The letter urges stockholders to reject Roche’s efforts to acquire Illumina at a grossly inadequate price, and reiterates the Board’s recommendation to vote for the election of Illumina’s highly qualified director nominees at its 2012 Annual Meeting of Stockholders and against Roche’s other proposals by completing the WHITE proxy card today.

Included below is the full text of the letter to Illumina stockholders:

April 3, 2012

Dear Fellow Stockholder:

ACT NOW TO PROTECT THE VALUE OF YOUR INVESTMENT IN ILLUMINA VOTE THE WHITE PROXY CARD TODAY!
 

“Illumina is like the Apple of the genomics business. Tools made by the San Diego company are revered by genomics researchers around the world just like millions of consumers love their iPhones and iPads. And Illumina holds its dominant position at an enviable moment in history, as we’re heading into a scientific golden age when human genomes will be sequenced for $1,000 or less.” – Xconomy reporter Luke Timmerman, March 6, 2012
 

The rapid adoption of next-generation sequencing (“NGS”) in research and clinical settings places it among the most dynamic and fastest growing sectors of the life science tools industry, and Illumina is singularly positioned as the leading player whose technologies, products and services are fundamental to the sector. While research demand alone has created extraordinary growth in this market, we have only scratched the surface of the value that will be created as uses for genetic information expand into the emerging applied and clinical markets, and ultimately into the delivery of personalized medicine, benefiting patients and healthcare providers, and providing whole new worlds of opportunity for the pharmaceutical, biotechnology and in vitro diagnostics industries, among other stakeholders.

Protect the value of your investment in Illumina. Do not let Roche’s hand-picked nominees get elected to your Board to support Roche’s hostile bid to buy Illumina at a low-ball price. We urge you to vote the WHITE PROXY CARD FOR Illumina’s four highly qualified and experienced directors and AGAINST Roche’s additional proposals designed to help Roche seize control of your Board.

Please use the enclosed WHITE PROXY CARD to vote today – by telephone, by Internet, or by signing, dating and returning the enclosed WHITE PROXY CARD in the postage-paid envelope provided. Please do not use the Gold Roche proxy card, as it may cancel your previous vote for Illumina.

THE MARKET POTENTIAL FOR NEXT GENERATION SEQUENCING IS ENORMOUS

As lower-cost sequencing opens new markets, Illumina’s growing revenue streams are increasingly driven by non-research uses such as agricultural biotechnology, veterinary medicine, forensics and, especially, molecular diagnostics, which is central to the future of healthcare. These expansion markets have the potential to more than double the size of Illumina’s addressable market from $4 billion to over $8 billion. Illumina is focused on delivering stockholder value by capturing and realizing the significant additional opportunities for sequencing in these growing markets, including imminent opportunities in pre- and neo-natal diagnostics, reproductive health and cancer management.

The molecular diagnostics space alone represents a $3 billion long-term growth opportunity. The fact that Illumina’s HiSeq and MiSeq platforms are already being adopted by leading diagnostic reference labs such as Sequenom, Genomic Health, Partners Healthcare and many others is evidence that Illumina is well positioned to be a leading supplier to the clinical market. For the longer term, Illumina is partnering with global leaders such as Siemens Healthcare, deCODE Genetics and the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Center to develop diagnostic kits for the MiSeq that we believe will eventually be used in thousands of hospital labs worldwide. The numerous companies that have selected Illumina technologies and products as the foundation upon which to build their novel diagnostics businesses further validates our approach and expands the clinical opportunity set for NGS.
 

“… the potential for sequencing in the clinical markets is large (billions of dollars or more), and the cost of sequencing is approaching a point where it is rapidly becoming economical for clinical trials and cancer management.” – J.P. Morgan Securities LLC analyst Tycho W. Peterson, January 25, 2012
 

LOWER COSTS, BETTER EASE OF USE AND FASTER RUNS WILL OPEN NEW MARKETS FOR SEQUENCING AND DRAMATIC GROWTH FOR ILLUMINA

In the coming months and years, you will continue to see Illumina lead major technological advances that will enable the prospect of fully-integrated, highly economical sequencing with very rapid turnaround times. As a result, we will gain exposure to very large – and growing – sequencing opportunities. Future market opportunities, assuming a $1,000 cost per genome and only 1% penetration, could easily result in more than $600 million of new revenue for Illumina. As the growth of our industry accelerates, Illumina’s innovative products and technologies, commercial strength and strong customer relationships will enable you, as an Illumina stockholder, to capitalize on these trends.

Illumina’s history of innovation is unmatched. Our current product portfolio, robust as it is, does not begin to reflect the value-creation potential of our rich R&D pipeline to continue to drive the efficiency and expand accessibility of genetic analysis. As we continue to innovate and break new thresholds in technology, while simultaneously shrinking turnaround times and reducing the cost per genome to less than $1,000, an entirely new world of sequencing applications will become possible. In the near future, our advancements will make sequencing and genetic information readily available to individuals and physicians, enabling their incorporation into the routine practice of medicine.

DON’T LET ROCHE STEAL ILLUMINA’S GROWTH AND VALUE CREATION POTENTIAL

Our Board of Directors, together with our financial and legal advisors, thoroughly reviewed Roche’s initial offer of $44.50 and the revised offer of $51.00 per share in cash and has unanimously rejected both of these offers on the basis that they are grossly inadequate. Roche’s revised hostile offer is nothing more than the next step in its aggressive campaign to opportunistically acquire Illumina at the lowest possible price.

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