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Illumina and Deerfield Management partner to accelerate drug development

publication date: Jun 9, 2022
author/source: Illumina


First-of-its-kind partnership will identify drug targets and accelerate novel therapy development using genomics and artificial intelligence

Illumina, Inc., a global leader in DNA sequencing and array-based technologies, and Deerfield Management, a healthcare investment management firm, today announced a five-year partnership to apply a genetic-led approach to the discovery and development of novel therapies for diseases with unmet medical needs. The partnership aims to leverage genomic tools and genetic knowledge to select programs with a higher probability of success in order to lower research and development costs and accelerate the approval of cutting-edge therapies.

"Currently, drug discovery is difficult, expensive, and slow, with 90% of therapies failing in development due to gaps in the biological understanding of the complex nature of many diseases," said Joydeep Goswami, Chief Strategy and Corporate Development Officer at Illumina. "Deerfield's Vice President of Genetics and Genomics, Matt Nelson, showed in his foundational work that genetic-based targets can improve success rates, speed to market, and cost. Combined with Illumina's expertise in applying artificial intelligence approaches to target discovery, we intend to drive a step-change in the pace and efficiency of therapeutic development."

The partnership combines Deerfield's expertise in closing the translational drug development gap and guiding drugs through preclinical development with Illumina's industry-leading genomic data generation and AI-based genome interpretation capabilities.

"Illumina is an innovative global leader in genomics," said James Flynn, Managing Partner, Deerfield Management. "Together, with Deerfield's expertise in translational research, the partnership will fuel advancements from idea to clinic more efficiently with the goal of treating some of the world's most life-threatening diseases."

"The next generation of drug discovery will be driven by advances in human genetics, functional genomics and data science," said Alex Aravanis, Chief Technology Officer at Illumina. "At Illumina, we have the ability to deeply understand disease biology by generating and interpreting genetic data at massive scale. With Deerfield's expertise in early-stage drug development, we expect to identify and develop new targets faster and with lower R&D costs, ultimately helping more patients access potentially life-changing therapies."

Under the terms of the agreement,  Illumina and Deerfield will identify therapeutic targets using Illumina's genetically-driven target discovery platform built with Illumina Connected Analytics and AI-driven genome interpretation solutions. Deerfield will provide its deep expertise in translational science to deliver genetically validated drug candidates through the discovery research phase.


About Illumina

Illumina is improving human health by unlocking the power of the genome. Our focus on innovation has established us as a global leader in DNA sequencing and array-based technologies, serving customers in the research, clinical and applied markets. Our products are used for applications in the life sciences, oncology, reproductive health, agriculture and other emerging segments.



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