Illumina, Inc. (NASDAQ:ILMN) today announced that it has acquired Cambridge, U.K.-based BlueGnome Ltd. for an undisclosed sum. BlueGnome, now a wholly owned subsidiary of Illumina, is a leading provider of solutions for the screening of genetic abnormalities associated with developmental delay, cancer, and infertility.
“The BlueGnome acquisition supports Illumina’s goal to be the leader in genomic-based diagnostics and enhances the company’s ability to establish integrated solutions in reproductive health and cancer,” said Jay Flatley, President and CEO of Illumina. “BlueGnome is the leader in the rapidly growing IVF market and is well-known for their software and comprehensive assay workflows.”
“By joining forces with Illumina, we will be able to leverage the industry’s leading microarray and sequencing platforms for our next generation products,” said Nick Haan, President and CEO of BlueGnome. “The throughput and data quality of Illumina’s sequencers enable us to consider revolutionary new approaches to genetic testing.”
In collaboration with some of the world’s leading in vitro fertilization (IVF) centers, BlueGnome developed 24sure™, a preimplantation genetic screening (PGS) test for counting the chromosomes in a single human cell – a test that holds enormous promise for increasing IVF success rates. Clinical data has shown that PGS greatly improves IVF success, increasing pregnancy rates for women and reducing miscarriages.
BlueGnome’s offerings also include CytoChip, a powerful test for the investigation of genetic abnormalities mainly associated with developmental delay or with complex leukemias. CytoChip is used by more than 200 labs across 40 countries worldwide as a first-line cytogenetic test, replacing traditional G-band karyotyping.
The company’s founders, Nick Haan and Graham Snudden, will continue to lead BlueGnome which will report to Greg Heath, SVP and General Manager of Illumina’s Diagnostics business. In addition to its headquarters in Cambridge, England, BlueGnome has offices in Fairfax, Virginia and Singapore.
Added Greg Heath, “Our technologies are rapidly moving towards clinical applications that can make dramatic and immediate impacts on people’s lives, and the BlueGnome acquisition is an excellent fit with Illumina’s overall genomic solutions and goals. We are very excited to welcome this talented team to Illumina.”