BioMérieux (France) is a diagnostics tech company which has partnered with the US Bioinformatics Giant Illumina to produce a novel Microbiological genetics sequencing kit: the bioMérieux EpiSeq.
BioMérieux is a worldwide leading provider of diagnostic solutions (reagents, instruments, software) which determine the source of disease and contamination to improve patient health and reduce risk of hospital infections spreading.
BioMérieux EpiSeq is an innovative next-generation sequencing (NGS) service dedicated to the epidemiological monitoring and control of healthcare-associated infections. These can include Methicillin resistant Stapylococcus Aureus (MRSA), Pneumococcus infections (to include Pneumonia and Meningitis) and Urinary tract infections (through catheter usage in hospitals).
By giving hospitals an improved understanding of the genetic markers of virulence and resistance, the service can help them understand how bacteria are transmitted, while enabling better containment of an epidemic, limiting the spread of infectious agents and improving surveillance approaches.
Signed by bioMérieux and Illumina in November 2014, the bioMérieux EpiSeq service aims to bring together the companies’ respective leadership positions in microbiology and NGS to jointly develop applications for microbiology sequencing. Jean-Luc Belingard, Chairman of bioMérieux said:
The launch of bioMérieux EpiSeq marks a new and productive step in our partnership with Illumina for the application of NGS to bacterial genomes“
Illumina, the San Diego leader in life science tools and integrated systems for large-scale analysis of genetics, have also invested in other Microbiological NGS tools… For example, it was also announced this week that UK Desktop Genetics’ proprietary DeskGen genome editing software platform and core CRISPR algorithms have received major funding from Illumina.
Illumina’s contribution will be used to particularly focus on development of DeskGen’s integration with NGS pipelines.
Indeed, the Microbiomics field is also hotting up at the moment, particularly with the launch of the Health Care Science program (the World First Microbiome fund) by Seventure, and the breakthrough of Microbiome biotechs into the Immuno-oncology field.
It is therefore of great interest to complement such work in Microbiology with NGS services, as well as push forward other Medtech innovations which aim to achieve earlier diagnosis of deadly hospital acquired infections.
It is also particularly interesting that we’re hearing so much about Illumina’s involvement in the European Biotech scene, and it certainly feels like the Transatlantic gap in Microbiological research is definitely narrowing.