Illumina (company)

Illumina, Inc.
Traded as NASDAQ: ILMN
NASDAQ-100 Component
S&P 500 Component
Industry Biotechnology
Founded 1998
  • David Walt
  • Larry Bock
  • John Stuelpnagel
  • Anthony Czarnik
  • Mark Chee
Headquarters San Diego, California, U.S.
Key people
Francis deSouza (President & CEO)
Revenue $2.2 billion (2015)

Illumina, Inc. is an American company incorporated in April 1998 that develops, manufactures and markets integrated systems for the analysis of genetic variation and biological function. In 2014, Illumina was named the world's smartest company by MIT Technology Review. Using its technologies, the company provides a line of products and services that serve the sequencing, genotyping and gene expression markets. This technology had purportedly by 2013 reduced the cost of sequencing a human genome to US$4,000, down from a price of US$1 million in 2007.[1] Customers include genomic research centers, pharmaceutical companies, academic institutions, clinical research organizations and biotechnology companies. Its tools provide researchers with the capability to perform genetic tests needed to extract medical information from advances in genomics and proteomics. Its headquarters are located in San Diego, California.


Illumina was founded in April 1998 by David Walt, Larry Bock, John Stuelpnagel, Anthony Czarnik, and Mark Chee. While working with CW Group, a venture capital firm, Bock and Stuelpnagel uncovered what would become Illumina's BeadArray technology at Tufts University and negotiated an exclusive license to that technology. Illumina completed its initial public offering in July 2000.

Illumina began offering single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) genotyping services in 2001 and launched its first system, the Illumina BeadLab, in 2002, using GoldenGate Genotyping technology. Illumina currently offers microarray-based products and services for an expanding range of genetic analysis sequencing, including SNP genotyping, gene expression, and protein analysis. Illumina's technologies are used by a broad range of academic, government, pharmaceutical, biotechnology, and other leading institutions around the globe.

On January 26, 2007, the Company completed the acquisition of Hayward based Solexa, Inc. Solexa Ltd,based in Cambridge UK was founded in June 1998 by Shankar Balasubramanian, and David Klenerman to develop and commercialize genome sequencing technology invented by the founders in the University of Cambridge. Solexa INC was formed 2005 when Solexa Ltd reversed into Lynx Therapeutics of Hayward. technology uses also the DNA colony sequencing technology, invented in 1997 by Pascal Mayer and Laurent Farinelli [2] and which was acquired by Solexa in 2004 from the company Manteia Predictive Medicine. It is being used to perform a range of analyses, including whole genome resequencing, gene expression analysis and small ribonucleic acid (RNA) analysis.

In June 2009, Illumina announced the launch of their own Personal Full Genome Sequencing Service at a depth of 30X for $48,000 per genome,[3] and a year later dropped the price to $19,500.[4] This is still too expensive for true commercialization but the price will most likely decrease substantially over the next few years as they realize economies of scale and given the competition with other companies such as Complete Genomics and Knome.[5][6] As of May 2011, Illumina reduced the price to $4,000.[7][8]

Illumina acquired Epicentre Biotechnologies, based in Madison, Wisconsin, on January 11, 2011.[9]

On January 25, 2012, Hoffmann-La Roche made an unsolicited bid to buy Illumina for $44.50 per share or about $5.7 billion.[10][11] Roche tried other tactics, including raising its offer (to $51.00, for about $6.8 billion).[12] Illumina rejected the offer,[1][13] and Roche abandoned the offer in April.[14]

As of April 2013, the company's chief executive officer was Jay Flatley.[1]

In 2014, the company announced a multimillion-dollar product, HiSeq X Ten, that it forecast would provide large-scale whole-genome sequencing for $1,000/genome. The company claimed that forty such machines would be able to sequence more genomes in one year than had been produced by all other sequencers to date.[15] In January 2014, Illumina already held 70 percent of the market for genome-sequencing machines.[16] Illumina machines accounted for more than 90 percent of all DNA data produced.[17]

On July 5, 2016 Jay Flatley assumed the role of executive chairman of the board of directors. Francis deSouza took on the role of president and chief executive officer, and continues to serve on the Illumina board of directors.[18][19]


DNA methylation profiling

Golden Gate Methylation

The GoldenGate Methylation Cancer Panel allows the user to probe 1,505 CpG loci selected from 807 genes across a large sample size. The array based method allows 96 samples to be probed simultaneously on one array matrix.

Infinium methylation

Utilizing Illumina's HumanMethylation27 DNA Analysis BeadChip and the Infinium technology, this method allows the user to map single methylation resolution for 27,578 CpG sites across over 14,000 genes. This Chip has been replaced by the 450K Methylation Chip and later by the EPIC Array, covering about 850k sites.

DNA sequencing

Illumina sells a number of very high-throughput DNA sequencing systems, also known as DNA sequencers, based on technology developed by Solexa. The technology features bridge amplification to generate clusters and reversible terminators for sequence determination.[20][21] The technology behind these sequencing systems involves ligation of fragmented DNA to a chip, followed by primer addition and sequential fluorescent dNTP incorporation and detection. The current portfolio includes the following Sequencers:

Instrument Versions Output in Single Reads
Genome Analyzer DISCONTINUED 300 Million
MiniSeq Research Use 25 Million
MiSeq Family Research Use, Dx (FDA-approved), FGx (Forensic) 1-25 Million
NextSeq Family NextSeq 500 (Research Use), NextSeq 550 (with capabilities for selected Arrays) 130-400 Million
HiSeq Family HiSeq 2500, 3000, 4000, X up to 2-3 Billion, depending on Instrument

Every Genome

Full genome sequencing service is sold solely through health care professionals (not direct to consumer).

See also


  1. 1 2 3 Staff (April 15, 2013). "Genomics". Disruptors. Forbes (paper). p. 88.
  2. Kawashima, Eric H.; Laurent Farinelli; Pascal Mayer (2005-05-12). "Patent: Method of nucleic acid amplification". Retrieved 2012-12-22{{inconsistent citations}}
  3. Individual genome sequencing - Illumina, Inc.
  4. Kerry Dolan (2010-09-16). "Illumina CEO On The Lunch That Launched Him". Forbes.
  5. Daniel MacArthur (2009-06-11). "Illumina launches personal genome sequencing service for $48,000". Archived from the original on June 16, 2009.
  6. Kevin Davies (2009-06-11). "Illumina To Offer $48,000 Personal Genome Sequencing Service". Bio-IT world.
  7. Illumina drops sequencing price to $4,000 |
  8. Individual genome sequencing - Illumina, Inc.
  9. "Illumina .::. Investor Relations News Release". 2011-01-11. Retrieved 2014-01-18.
  10. Roche - Roche offers to acquire all outstanding shares of Illumina, Inc. to further strengthen its leading role in diagnostics
  11. Five Reasons Illumina Should Fight Roche's Insulting Low-Ball Bid | Xconomy
  12. Roche and Illumina: Taking it personally. The Economist (2012-04-18). Retrieved on 2013-09-05.
  13. Illumina Board Rejects Roche's Hostile Tender
  14. Roche decides not to extend its tender offer for Illumina, Inc.
  15. Young, Susan (2014-01-14). "Illumina Claims It's Reached $1,000-Genome Milestone with New High-Throughput Human Genome Sequencer | MIT Technology Review". Retrieved 2014-01-18.
  16. Zimmerman, Eilene (18 February 2014). "50 Smartest Companies: Illumina". MIT Technology Review. Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Retrieved 25 August 2014.
  17. Regalado, Antonio. "EmTech: Illumina Says 228,000 Human Genomes Will Be Sequenced This Year". MIT Technology Review. Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Retrieved 26 September 2014.
  18. "Jay Flatley to Assume Role of Executive Chairman of the Board of Directors of Illumina; Francis deSouza Appointed President and CEO" (Press release). Illumina. 7 March 2016.
  19. Staff (July 2016). "People". Genetic Engineering & Biotechnology News (Paper). 36 (13). p. 37.
  20. S Balasubramanian RSC Chem. Commun., 47 (26), 7281-7286 (2011)
  21. Bentley, David R.; et al. (6 November 2008). "Accurate whole human genome sequencing using reversible terminator chemistry". Nature. 456 (7218): 53–59. doi:10.1038/nature07517. PMC 2581791Freely accessible. PMID 18987734.
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