Biotech firm Illumina to establish a $60m genomics hub in Melbourne

Image Credit: Illumina

US biotechnology company Illumina will set up a A$60 million Genomics Hub in Melbourne in collaboration with the University of Melbourne and the Victorian Government.

The Illumina-University of Melbourne Genomics Hub will aim to improve public health outcomes through research and diagnostics in areas such as infectious diseases, including the coronavirus.

Gretchen Weightman, Vice President and General Manager of Asia Pacific & Japan at Illumina, said the hub would also aim to accelerate biomedical research translation into routine clinical care, using highly targeted and personalised approaches.

“We are honoured to receive the support and investment from the Victorian Government for the Illumina Genomics Hub,” said Gretchen Weightman, Vice President and General Manager of Asia Pacific & Japan at Illumina.

“This establishment will accelerate the translation and commercialisation of biomedical research in the Melbourne Biomedical Precinct and give Victoria the opportunity to spearhead Australian genomics innovation at a global level.”

Illumina, which is also collaborating with the Communicable Disease Genomics Network to track COVID-19 in Australia using its Next Generation Sequencing technology, said the Hub will establish three core platforms in clinical genomics, bioinformatics and health economics.

Researchers from the University of Melbourne are leading the first two flagship genomic innovation projects, which include the development of new genomic-based technologies for simpler and more effective diagnosis of the most challenging to treat cancer cases, and a novel platform to understand the varied types of disease progression of patients with COVID-19.