IBM Seals Genomics Partnership With Illumina

IBM (IBM) and genomic analysis products company Illumina (ILMN) have teamed up to integrate IBM's Waston supercomputer into Illumina's BaseSpace and tumor sequencing process, the companies said Monday.

The news comes after IBM and Quest Diagnostics (DGX) unveiled a genomic sequencing service powered by IBM's Watson supercomputer in October.

According to Monday's announcement, researchers using Illumina's cancer genome sequencing panel will have quick access to information to help interpret data from TruSight Tumor 170. Launched by Illumina in November, TruSight Tumor 170 is a solid tumor-profiling panel designed to detect a set of variants across 170 genes.

Within minutes, Watson for Genomics will read the genetic alteration files produced by TruSight Tumor 170, go through professional guidelines, medical literature, clinical trials compendia and other sources to provide information for each genomic alternation, then generate a report, according to the companies. Such a process typically takes scientists more than one week to complete, the announcement noted.

The Watson for Genomics software will be available to support Illumina's TruSight Tumor 170 assay early in the year.

Shares of Illumina are up a fraction of a percentage point to $141.50 while IBM shares are down 0.5% at $168.61.

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