Illumina Will Partner with Foundation for the Children of the
Californias, Rare Genomics Institute, and UCSF Benioff Children’s
Hospital San Francisco, to Sequence the Genomes of Nearly 100 Patients
and Their Parents in Inaugural Year
SAN DIEGO–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Illumina,
Inc. (NASDAQ: ILMN) today announced the iHope program, a philanthropic
initiative aimed at identifying the genetic causes of undiagnosed rare
diseases in children. With initial program partners Foundation
for the Children of the Californias, Rare
Genomics Institute, and UCSF
Benioff Children’s Hospital San Francisco, selected patients in
financial need will receive clinical whole-genome sequencing performed
by the Illumina Clinical Services Laboratory. Through whole-genome
sequencing – the process of determining the order of all the DNA in a
person’s body – Illumina and the iHope program partners strive to end
years-long diagnostic odysseys of unnecessary and inconclusive testing
for these children and their families.
Under US law, a disease is considered rare if it has a prevalence of
fewer than 200,000 affected individuals in the United States. Global
Genes estimates that there are as many 30 million individuals in the US
with a rare disease, 80 percent of which is genetic in origin. The iHope
program was created out of an awareness of the challenges facing
patients with rare and undiagnosed genetic diseases and their families –
many of whom face financial hardship and are not otherwise able to
access next-generation sequencing-based testing. Approximately 50
percent of those affected by rare diseases are children and 30 percent
do not live to be five years old.1
“Understanding the scope and size of the population affected by rare
diseases, we have a moral imperative to increase the visibility of this
global health problem and help find solutions for the children and
families who are suffering,” said Illumina President and CEO Francis
deSouza. “With precision medicine and large-scale genomic initiatives
being launched all over the world, we believe that genomics is reaching
an inflection point in the public consciousness. The iHope program aims
to build on that public awareness by focusing on the needs of those with
rare, undiagnosed genetic diseases and showing how next-generation
sequencing can benefit this population.”
“We know that rare diseases can affect any family at any time. Being a
part of iHope gives me confidence that together we can make a difference
for patients with these conditions,” said Jimmy Lin, MD, PhD, Founder
and President, Rare Genomics Institute. “Whole-genome sequencing has
already shown its value in identifying rare and undiagnosed diseases
and, as we learn more, I believe that the process will become a routine
part of medical practice. Children will no longer have to suffer through
a crusade of testing.”
Clinical experts affiliated with iHope partner institutions will make
referrals to the Illumina Clinical Services Laboratory, which is
certified under the Clinical Laboratories Improvements Amendments (CLIA)
and accredited by the College of American Pathologists (CAP). These
experts – including pediatric intensivists, medical geneticists, genetic
counselors, and others – will refer children who have financial need and
undiagnosed conditions suspected to be of genetic origin.
Eligible program participants selected by the iHope program partners
will receive whole-genome sequencing at no cost. Clinical whole-genome
sequencing is intended to provide information to physicians to aid in
the diagnosis of inherited diseases, and to try to identify the
underlying cause of a genetic condition. This test is most appropriate
for situations where the evaluation of multiple genes may clarify or
refine the diagnosis, a situation that can occur when the presenting set
of symptoms and tests are inconclusive, there are many candidate genes
to evaluate, or physicians believe that the patient may have multiple
About Illumina, Inc.
Illumina is improving human health by unlocking the power of the genome.
Our focus on innovation has established us as the 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. To learn more, visit www.illumina.com
and follow @illumina.
About Foundation for the Children of the Californias
The Foundation for the Children of the Californias is a trinational
collaboration with Canada, the United States and Mexico, endeavoring to
improve the health and nutrition for the children of the mega-region of
San Diego and Baja California through the operation of Hospital Infantil
de las Californias.
Hospital Infantil de las Californias is a model pediatric specialty
medical and education complex, located one half mile into Baja
California, Mexico. Hospital Infantil offers outpatient services in 25
specialties and services and sees over 3,500 children from both sides of
the border each month.
No child at Hospital Infantil is turned away due to inability to pay.
About Rare Genomics Institute
Rare Genomics Institute (RG) is a 501(c)(3) non-profit that makes
cutting edge research technologies and experts accessible to rare
disease patients. Partnering with top medical institutions, RG helps
custom design personalized research projects for diseases so rare that
no organization exists to help. By providing an expert network and an
online crowdfunding mechanism, RG helps families source, design, and
fund personalized research projects in diseases not otherwise studied.
Ultimately, RG aims to expand on its current genome sequencing-focused
approach to enable support for whatever type of research is necessary to
get closer to rare disease therapeutics.
For more information about Rare Genomics Institute, visit http://www.raregenomics.org.
eBook is available immediately at no cost at http://www.raregenomics.org/eBooks.
and professional photos are available for press at http://raregenomics.org/media-kit/.
About UC San Francisco
UC San Francisco (UCSF) is a leading university dedicated to promoting
health worldwide through advanced biomedical research, graduate-level
education in the life sciences and health professions, and excellence in
patient care. It includes top-ranked graduate schools of dentistry,
medicine, nursing and pharmacy; a graduate division with nationally
renowned programs in basic, biomedical, translational and population
sciences; and a preeminent biomedical research enterprise. It also
includes UCSF Health, which comprises top-ranked hospitals, UCSF
Medical Center and UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospitals in San
Francisco and Oakland
– and other partner and affiliated hospitals and healthcare providers
throughout the Bay Area.
This release contains forward-looking statements that involve risks and
uncertainties. Examples of forward-looking statements include, but are
not limited to, statements we make regarding the expected availability
dates for new products and services and FDA submission dates and
intentions for certain products and services. Important factors that
could cause actual results to differ materially from those in any
forward-looking statements include challenges inherent in developing,
manufacturing, and launching new products and services, and the other
factors that are detailed in our filings with the Securities and
Exchange Commission, including our most recent filings on Forms 10-K and
10-Q, or in information disclosed in public conference calls, the date
and time of which are released beforehand. We do not intend to update
any forward-looking statements after the date of this release.
1 Global Genes®, RARE
Diseases: Facts and Statistics