Illumina, Inc. (NASDAQ:ILMN) announced it has signed four separate biobanking deals with Vanderbilt University, University of Colorado at Denver, Partners HealthCare, and Montreal Heart Institute to advance personalized medicine and improve health care. Under the agreements, the large sample collections housed at each institution will be genotyped usingIllumina technologies. By combining genomic information with electronic medical records and clinical information, the institutions hope to accelerate discoveries that will improve human health.

The Infinium® Expanded Multi-Ethnic Genotyping Array, Infinium HumanMethylation 450K Array and Illumina sequencing systems will be used to analyze an initial 200,000 samples and gain insight into the underlying genetic factors that may contribute to heart disease, cancer, Alzheimer’s, bipolar disorder, and Crohn’s disease, among many other complex diseases.

“These four personalized medicine programs represent progressive examples of how characterizing the genome using multiple genetic analysis solutions is significantly advancing the understanding of human biology. These programs are at the forefront of translational research and the clinical application of genomic data,” said Illumina Executive Vice President and Chief Commercial Officer, Christian Henry.

Vanderbilt University

As part of Vanderbilt University’s early commitment to support the Precision Medicine Initiative, Dr. Nancy Cox will lead its trans-institution genetic efforts by combining Vanderbilt’s national leadership in DNA biobanking, biomedical informatics and pharmacogenomics data. The genetic analysis of data from 100,000 samples will provide valuable insights to genetic factors in human disease with the goal of improving health care.

“Our BioVU biobank is at the core of a vision that will combine genome variation, biomarker data, patient electronic medical record (EMR) information and pharmacogenomic data to advance personalized medicine,” said Vanderbilt University Genetics Institute and Division of Genetic Medicine Director, Nancy Cox, PhD. “We are pleased to partner with Illumina and will utilize their MEGA EX genotyping array and DNA sequencing to examine how genome variation that has been shown to impact gene expression across a variety of tissues alters risk of common diseases. The opportunity for partnerships in this discovery space were key in our decision to work with them.”

University of Colorado at Denver

The University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus has launched a new personalized medicine initiative focused on integrating information from electronic medical records data with molecular data, genetic mapping, and basic biology to redefine disease and health, and fundamentally change the way medicine is practiced. This new program will be led by Kathleen Barnes, PhD, head of the Division of Biomedical Informatics and Personalized Medicine in the Department of Medicine.

Under this initiative Dr. Barnes and her team will initially genotype 30,000 samples on the Illumina MEGA EX BeadChip with analysis of 2,000 samples on the new DNA Methylation EPIC chip. Upon successful completion of this pilot study, and ongoing patient sample collection, this new biobank anticipates analyzing hundreds of thousands of samples per year over the next several years.

Partners HealthCare Biobank

The Partners HealthCare Biobank is part of Partners HealthCare Personalized Medicine, a center devoted to enhancing the adoption of genomic technologies to improve patient care across the Partners Health System including Massachusetts General Hospital and Brigham and Women’s Hospital. The Biobank is a resource that provides access to high-quality samples to help foster research, to further understanding of the causes of common diseases, and advance the practice of personalized medicine. Partners HealthCare is currently engaged in analyzing 25,000 samples using Illumina technology to perform RNA sequencing, DNA Methylation array and MEGA Array.

“We have chosen Illumina array and sequencing products to be the platform for the Partners Biobank because of Illumina’s demonstrated capability in this field,” said Dr. Scott Weiss, Director at Partners Personalized Medicine, Partners HealthCare and Professor of Medicine atHarvard Medical School. “This new partnership with Illumina will make this data available to our entire faculty, supporting our research efforts as we work to discover new ways to improve the lives of our patients.”

Montreal Heart Institute

The Montreal Heart Institute will use Illumina’s MEGA array to genotype over 50,000 samples from their biobank as part of an overall effort to identify genetic predictors of drug response in cardiometabolic diseases. A subset of these samples will be used in a longitudinal cohort study as the final clinical validation study.

“We have chosen to use Illumina array products with our biobank samples which we believe will provide good genome-wide coverage for a number of ethnic populations and valuable information from rare variants and enriched content,” said the Director of Beaulieu SaucierPharmacogenomics Centre at the Montreal Heart Institute, Dr. Marie-Pierre Dube.

The genotyping programs for Partners HealthCare Biobank, Montreal Heart Institute, and Vanderbilt University are currently underway.University of Colorado at Denver will start genotyping Q1 2016. (Original Source)

Shares of Illumina closed last Friday at $157.95. ILMN has a 1-year high of $242.37 and a 1-year low of $130. The stock’s 50-day moving average is $176.51 and its 200-day moving average is $181.95.

On the ratings front, Illumina has been the subject of a number of recent research reports. In a report issued on January 12, Mizuho analyst Eric Criscuolo reiterated a Hold rating on ILMN, with a price target of $150, which reflects a potential downside of -5.0% from last closing price. Separately, on January 11, Piper Jaffray’s William Quirk reiterated a Buy rating on the stock and has a price target of $219.

According to, which ranks over 7,500 financial analysts and bloggers to gauge the performance of their past recommendations, Eric Criscuolo and William Quirk have a total average return of -22.5% and -2.9% respectively. Criscuolo has a success rate of 9.1% and is ranked #3358 out of 3622 analysts, while Quirk has a success rate of 40.0% and is ranked #2677.

The street is mostly Neutral on ILMN stock. Out of 5 analysts who cover the stock, 3 suggest a Hold rating and 2 recommend to Buy the stock. The 12-month average price target assigned to the stock is $175.00, which represents a potential upside of 10.8% from where the stock is currently trading.

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