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Illumina Has a Customer in GlaxoSmithKline

A local biotechnology firm has scored a major contract with one of the world’s most reputable pharmaceutical companies.

San Diego’s Illumina Inc., which has most of its 500 employees here, announced Dec. 19 that it has signed a “multi-million dollar” agreement with GlaxoSmithKline. GSK will buy 1,000 HumanHap550 BeadChips, used for identifying genes. England-based GSK, which holds about 7 percent of the world’s pharmaceutical market, will also use Illumina’s Fast-Track Genotyping Service to process 4,000 disease samples to test how potential drugs would react in the body, according to one’s genes.

Illumina was named the leader in midcap companies in 2006 in the Outlook 2007 report published this week by San Francisco-based Burrill & Co., a multifaceted firm with activities in venture capital, publishing and merchant banking. Illumina’s stock value has jumped 186 percent in the past year or so, according to Burrill.

The day of the announced deal with Glaxo, Illumina stock, which trades as ILMN on the Nasdaq, was trading at $39.41, down 1.4 percent in afternoon trading.

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, Katie Weeks

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