It is the medical sensation of the year: Researchers have succeeded in selectively altering the human genome with the genetic scissors CRISPR. Using this controversial tool, the scientists have remedied gene defects that are responsible for a heart defect in human embryos. In order to find the defective parts in the genome, the genome (the entire genotype of a human being) must be sequenced ahead of time, i.e. decoded. Technological leadership in this area is the US diagnostics specialist Illumina.
In addition to genetic scissors, personalized medicine is currently one of the dominant and hotly debated subjects in medicine. Because the trends that each patient receives a personalized therapy, that is to say, tailored to the individual. The selection of the drugs as alone or combined treatment as well as the subsequent medication in the future depend on which genes are modified or mutated.
And since Illumina comes into play: The Group of San Diego has succeeded in recent years in the area of diagnostics unique product portfolio. Above all, the latest product line called NovaSeq promises an incomparable cost-benefit effect.
These Illumina products are able to decipher a human genome up to 70 percent faster. At the same time, the costs for the process are rapidly reduced. The biotech company has set itself the goal of pushing the financial expenditure for the decoding of a genome to only 100 dollars.
The highlight: On the one hand, the NovaSeq sequencing technology contributes to the cost reduction in the respective health system, de facto entirely according to the taste of Donald Trump. On the other hand, this technological advancement is the key to personalized medicine and allows the targeted use of the genetic scissors CRISPR.
The biotech company is proposing several things together: While the costs of genome analysis fall by another 90 percent, Illumina’s profit goes through the ceiling. In the coming year, the diagnostics specialist is likely to implement more than three billion dollars for the first time and benefit more than ever from the medical megatrends. The quarterly figures for the second quarter in this fiscal year have already impressively delivered a taste for what this technological advance will bring.
Illumina is back on track and was able to significantly exceed analysts’ expectations. In addition to a pleasing result of $0.82 per share, investors were above all convinced by the sales of 662 million dollars. Illumina was able to overcome the growth rate of the past quarters. At the same time, the biotech forge raised the outlook for the current financial year. The fact that the business is gaining momentum is mainly due to the NovaSeq series, which has been on the market since April.
Whether genetic scissors, personalized medicine or artificial intelligence in diagnostics: the basis for the breakthrough or successful use of these trends is genome analysis. Due to the market power and the technological know-how, there is no way around the Illumina biotech weakening.