Illumina, Inc. (NASDAQ:ILMN) announced the formation of the Global Fertility Alliance, a new collaboration to advance excellence in fertility technologies and processes within the assisted reproductive treatment (ART) laboratory. The alliance is a partnership between Illumina, Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany, and Genea, which develops innovative fertility technologies.

The alliance aims to improve the consistency in ART worldwide and addresses the need for more standardization of fertility processes within the ART laboratory. The three companies will launch their initiative at the 31st Annual Meeting of the European Society of Human Reproduction and Embryology (ESHRE) in Lisbon, Portugal, on 13 June 2015. This is another important step for Illumina towards establishing global standards in the growing market of fertility technologies and the ultimate goal of helping families to have a baby.

“We are the global leader in the field of fertility drugs and committed to supporting the success and improvement in ART by going beyond drugs with innovative technologies,” explained Meeta Gulyani, Head of Global Strategy and Franchises at the biopharmaceutical business of Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany. “By forging the Global Fertility Alliance with partners like Illumina and Genea, we aim to support the development of needed global standards in ART labs. This will ensure a consistently high level of performance between different centers and countries.”

With the establishment of the alliance, Illumina, Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany, and Genea emphasize their desire to help improve fertility outcomes by contributing to the standardization of technologies and protocols in ART labs. Currently, variation in practices and techniques can lead to inconsistent results and outcomes. Recognizing the importance of innovation in ART technologies, the alliance aims to enhance progress and innovation in three ways. Firstly, the founding members aim to foster integration of multiple, leading fertility technologies. Secondly, building on this, the alliance will aim to collaborate with leading health care professionals and medical societies to develop global standards. And finally, as technologies in the fertility space are rapidly advancing, the alliance will also develop educational resources for health care professionals worldwide. These efforts will include training curricula and workshops, as well as access to model labs, symposia and events at medical meetings.

“Illumina has a strong commitment to improving in vitro fertilization (IVF) outcomes through the use of industry-leading genomics, but appreciates that there are many factors that impact ART outcomes,” said Tristan Orpin, Senior Vice President and General Manager,Reproductive and Genetic Health for Illumina. “Founding the Global Fertility Alliance together with Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany, and Genea represents an exciting opportunity for us to share our knowledge and experience with the wider community and to help bring alignment and higher consistency to ART practices worldwide. Having already partnered with Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany, in other treatment areas, we are confident this collaboration of innovators in the fertility field will deliver a significant positive impact for health care professionals, fertility labs, and most importantly their patients.”

“Increasing success rates for patients worldwide and advancing the science of fertility treatment is an integral part of our mission,” said Tomas Stojanov, CEO of Genea. “The new Global Fertility Alliance for excellence in ART will drive automation and standardization in the field and support health care professionals in providing their patients with the best possible outcomes.”

In order to rapidly progress the initiative, Illumina, Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany, and Genea will actively contribute to the alliance and establish a board of representatives, which will meet regularly. At the same time, the companies invite new members, who demonstrate a consistent commitment to driving technology innovation and improving ART results, to join the alliance. (Original Source)

Shares of Illumina closed last Friday at $210.21 . ILMN has a 1-year high of $213.33 and a 1-year low of $145.12. The stock’s 50-day moving average is $197.57 and its 200-day moving average is $192.66.

On the ratings front, Illumina has been the subject of a number of recent research reports. In a report issued on May 26, BTIG analyst Dane Leone reiterated a Buy rating on ILMN, with a price target of $240, which represents a potential upside of 14.2% from where the stock is currently trading. Separately, on April 22, Cantor Fitzgerald’s Sung Ji Nam maintained a Hold rating on the stock and has a price target of $169.

According to, which ranks over 7,500 financial analysts and bloggers to gauge the performance of their past recommendations, Dane Leone and Sung Ji Nam have a total average return of 10.7% and 14.4% respectively. Leone has a success rate of 75.7% and is ranked #748 out of 3612 analysts, while Nam has a success rate of 74.4% and is ranked #466.

Illumina Inc providessequencing-and array-based solutions for genetic analysis. Itsproducts enabled researchers to explore DNA, helping them create the first map of gene variations associated with health, disease, and drug response.