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ILLUMINA (ILMN): Today’s News Is What We Want To Hear.

|Includes: Illumina, Inc. (ILMN)

Those who follow on the advancement of biotechnology achievements wake up every day looking for specific news about breakthrough treatments for cancer and chronic devastating diseases, not for just a modest improvement of drugs, or me-too drugs that do little against the diseases and a lot in devastating the healthcare budget. The more we see breakthroughs, the more we get greedy, asking or at least hoping for more treatments that work at the root-cause of diseases, personalized medicine, where patients are protected from treatments that promise better disease management, but are themselves etiologies of new diseases, adding different pathologies and devastation than the diseases they are supposed to treat. 


We don’t want today’s news coming from Illumina to be missed by those who are interested in the advancement of molecular biology, computer science and biotechnology in general. We want to bring this news to the patients who suffer the adverse events of their treatments in addition to the devastation of their diseases. We want to bring it to the researchers in pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies who dream about cutting the enormous expenses of clinical trials and shortening the time required to take their molecules from the preclinical laboratory to the market.


In a press release Illumina (NASDAQ:ILMN) announced the launch of its VeraCode ADME Core Panel designed to help researchers study genetic predispositions for differential drug response and adverse events. The Panel offers the most complete representation of the key biomarkers associated with drug absorption, distribution, metabolism and excretion (ADME) as standardized by pharmaceutical industry experts in the PharmADME Core List. Researchers using the product can analyze key ADME content in as little as one day, which never happened before.


Dan Masys, M.D., chair of Bioinformatics at Vanderbilt University said, “We selected the ADME Core Panel for its multiplex coverage of the key biomarkers associated with drugs in our initial study, and for its efficiency in processing samples. We are looking for a set of variants that reliably predict an adverse effect from a medication, and have over 80,000 DNA samples with matched, de-identified medical records to support the study.” Dr. Masys is leading the Vanderbilt Electronic Systems for Pharmacogenetic Assessment study using the VeraCode ADME Core Panel to generate an extensive pharmacogenetic database. This database will be widely used to link genotypes to drug response phenotypes extracted from electronic health record data.


What does the VeraCode ADME Core Panel offers? According to the firm’s press release, it offers the following:


The VeraCode ADME Core Panel contains 184 biomarkers in 34 genes, with the highest coverage of the PharmADME Core List. This list, produced by the PharmADME Working Group of industry and academic experts, provides comprehensive coverage of the most biologically relevant biomarkers spanning complex regions of the genome.


Rapid and precise genotyping assay: Using a highly specific and streamlined chemistry, DNA can be genotyped within 8 hours with less than 2.5 hours of hands-on time, enabling researchers to complete studies faster than ever before.


Data precision with an excellent call rate. The supporting software for VeraScan offers a convenient user interface that manages user authentication, logs system activity, and automatically translates genotype data into the star nomenclature used by researchers to analyze pharmacogenetic data.


“Understanding genetic variability associated with drug response and disposition is a key step toward the realization of personalized medicine, and the VeraCode ADME Core Panel will help enable this exciting transformation,” said Jay Flatley, president and CEO of Illumina. “With the cost of bringing a new medicine to market now exceeding $1 billion and over $220 billion spent annually on medications in the U.S., it is critical that we look for savings in all stages of drug development. With its emphasis on rapid operation and high-quality data, the VeraCode ADME Core Panel can help bring safe and effective therapies to patients as quickly as possible.“


That is what we precisely expect from the biogenetic revolution. Far-reaching, but safe drugs, personalized medicine, using computers, instead of torturing animals and bringing down the healthcare cost. You know what? If we don’t bring down the cost of developing new drugs, we will end up not able to use them at the time they reach the market, let alone developing them.   


Thank you ILLUMINA. 


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