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Illumina Launches Integrated, High-Throughput SNP Genotyping System; Launch of Collaboration Product with Applied Biosystems to be Delayed.

Business Editors/Health & Medical Writers

BIOWIRE2K

Illumina, Inc. (the "Company") announced today the launch of an internally developed, high-throughput genotyping system based on the Company's proprietary BeadArray(TM) technology. This product is based on the system that has been operational in Illumina's service business for over one year. First customer shipments are expected to be available in the fourth quarter of 2002.

This commercial launch decision followed recent discussions with Applied Biosystems in which Applied Biosystems indicated that the planned mid-2002 launch of the genotyping system being jointly developed with Illumina would likely be delayed. The Company is currently working with Applied Biosystems to understand the exact nature and extent of the delay, and the alternatives for moving the collaboration forward. Illumina will provide a further update once additional information becomes available. The Company had not expected to book any material revenues from this collaboration in 2002.

Jay Flatley, President and CEO of Illumina, stated, "We are disappointed in the launch delay for the collaboration product, but are excited at the prospect of marketing our own system. We believe Illumina's BeadArray technology is the most cost-effective, highest-throughput genotyping platform in the industry and we intend to aggressively deploy this technology into the marketplace. We will continue discussions with Applied Biosystems to better understand the alternatives for moving forward with the collaboration and other ways we can work together in the genotyping market."

Additional Detail on Illumina's Genotyping System

Illumina's new genotyping system offering is an automated, LIMS-controlled system capable of delivering over one million genotypes per day and a multiplex level up to 1152 SNP loci per sample. Based on the quality and performance of this system, the Company has signed 13 genotyping service agreements to date and others are currently in negotiation. In addition, Illumina recently introduced the industry's first SNP linkage panel based on the discovery efforts of the SNP Consortium, which is currently available to service customers.

Illumina has also developed or adapted a number of assays to run on its BeadArray platform, including the assay used in its services operation. The Company has scaled this genotyping assay to multiplex levels up to 1152 SNP loci simultaneously at both the genotyping and the amplification steps, as more fully described in the June 2002 BioTechniques supplement (http://www.biotechniques.com/articles/snpsbeadarray.pdf). The Company believes this multiplexing capability is at least 10 times higher than the level currently available in any other product of which it is aware.

The system will initially be marketed to selected high-throughput genotyping operations that require an automated, integrated system to handle large-scale processing needs. Accordingly, the Company will not need to significantly scale up its sales force to effectively market this product in the near term. At the same time, the Company believes that this group of organizations will perform the majority of SNP genotyping in the next 12 to 24 months. The system will be sold as a turnkey package and will be supported by Illumina personnel. Illumina will provide custom assay development for these system users through its services business, and will provide standard products such as linkage, fine mapping and linkage disequilibrium to both its systems and services customers.

As this system is not part of the collaboration with Applied Biosystems, Illumina will retain all operating profit generated from the sales of systems and consumables.

Illumina is in the pilot manufacturing build phase of its confocal laser-scanning instrument, which will offer the highest resolution of any array scanner on the market. This scanner, which is part of the integrated genotyping system, is capable of processing the Company's Sentrix(TM) bead-based arrays in all three areas of genetic analysis: genotyping, gene expression and proteomics. In addition, Illumina has in place a fully operational high-throughput oligonucleotide synthesis factory, based on its proprietary Oligator(TM) technology, to produce the DNA materials that are critical to performing genetic analysis experiments. The Oligator facility has a capacity of over 10 million oligos per year and it is believed to achieve the lowest production costs in the industry. The Company currently offers its oligonucleotides for sale to third parties at the lowest advertised price in the marketplace, and plans to use a significant portion of its oligonucleotide facility to support custom assay development for its genotyping system users.

About Illumina

Illumina (Nasdaq: ILMN; www.illumina.com) is developing next-generation tools that will permit large-scale analysis of genetic variation and function. The Company's proprietary BeadArray(TM) technology will provide the throughput, cost effectiveness and flexibility necessary to enable researchers in the life sciences and pharmaceutical industries to perform the billions of tests necessary to extract medically valuable information from advances in genomics and proteomics. Illumina's technology will have applicability across a wide variety of industries beyond life sciences and pharmaceuticals, including agriculture, food, chemicals and petrochemicals.

"Safe Harbor" Statement under the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995: this release may contain forward-looking statements that involve risks and uncertainties. Among the important factors which could cause actual results to differ materially from those in the forward-looking statements are Illumina's ability to further develop its core BeadArray technologies and confocal laser scanner instrument for high-throughput genetic analysis, its ability to successfully deliver genotyping systems in the time frame expected, Illumina's ability to effectively market its genotyping systems, uncertainty about release of the collaboration product with Applied Biosystems, and other factors detailed in the Company's filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission including its 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. Illumina disclaims any intent or obligation to update these forward-looking statements beyond the date of this release.
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Publication:Business Wire
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Jul 8, 2002
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