Top Story

Morning Read: Illumina partners with investors to launch digital hub for genomics

Illumina has partnered with Warburg Pincus and Sutter Hill Ventures to create digital hub Helix for consumers to obtain genetic tests and complementary services from third parties.



Illumina has partnered with Warburg Pincus and Sutter Hill Ventures to create a digital hub for consumers to obtain genetic tests and complementary services from third parties, according to a company statement. Helix will give consumers the option of letting their genetic data be stored in the hub so that data can be accessed by third party partners.

The idea is to convert genetic information to digital data stored in the cloud to help partners “to develop and deliver premium genomic products to consumers without the burden of developing their own assay, laboratory or database infrastructure,” the statement read.

Illumina CEO Jay Flatley, who will serve as chairman of Helix’s board, said:

“Helix and its founding investors are committed to creating a neutral platform at the highest quality standard that will work with partners to accelerate consumer adoption of genomics.”

Helix backers are contributing $100 million towards its development, which has been underway for one year. Center for Individualized Medicine at Mayo Clinic, one of the first companies to use the service, is also a strategic investor. Backers also hope the company as providing a resource for entrepreneurs and developers to create new products. — Illumina


Edge Therapeutics, which is developing a microparticle treatment designed to ease symptoms for patients suffering from brain hemorrhages tied to aneurysms, filed to raise $115 million in an IPO, seeking cash to get its top prospect into late-stage development. Fierce Biotech

The verdict is in on the top-prescribed drug brands for the 12-month period ending June 30: AstraZeneca’s high-powered statin drug Crestor, which pulled down more than 21 million total scripts. GlaxoSmithKline’s respiratory behemoth Advair came in second with 13.6 million scripts. Fierce Pharma


It was inevitable but after a series of cybersecurity breaches at payers and providers, members of one insurer have filed a class action lawsuit. This one is against the Maryland insurer CareFirst Blue Cross Blue Shield. Expect more.

The Baltimore Sun

The former executive director of Springfield, Ill.-based HSHS St. John’s Children’s Hospital, Margaret Curtin, was sentenced to nine years in prison for stealing $700,000 from the hospital between December 2008 and September 2014.  The State Journal-Register


A look at the 10 fastest growing private healthcare companies on the annual Inc. 5000 list. — Healthcare DIVE

The deadline for protesting the Pentagon’s multi-billion electronic health record contract award has passed, and no companies filed.

DOD announced that the team of Leidos, Cerner, and Accenture won the Defense Healthcare Management System Modernization contract on July 29. The DHMSM program has the potential to cost about $9 billion over its lifecycle.  FCW


Scott Walker has shared his healthcare policy platform, which includes extending refundable tax credits to help pay for private health insurance based on age instead of income. It would also allow people to shop for insurance across state lines. — Associated Press

Ben Carson thinks attacks on his position regarding use of fetal tissue for medical research while he bad mouthed Planned Parenthood is an overreaction by the media.

“It is a desperate attempt by some people to change the argument,” Carson told host Chris Wallace on “Fox News Sunday.”

“They are looking for things that aren’t even true,” he said. “It has nothing to do with an abortion or even fetal tissue.” The Hill


It’s terribly unfortunate that this happens, but a rhinoceros in the KwaZual-Natal province in South Africa was recently shot and poachers removed its horns. The good news – some people put a lot of effort into giving the rhino a second chance and provided a skin graft from an elephant, which saved its life. IFLScience