Recently, MIT Technology has ranked the public company Illumina as the #1 smartest company of 2015. The genome-sequencing business is the result of the human genome project that launched 25 years ago. Illumina can successfully identify all three billion base pairs in human DNA and map all of the genes of the human genome. This amazing technology is available for anyone for a surprisingly low price of $1,000 and will soon be cheap enough to be used regularly for pinpointing medical problems.
Illumina will be an enormous business in years to come and already holds a 70% stake in genome sequencing technology. The San Diego based company sells sequencing machines, and software and services that analyze genome data. The current CEO Jay Flatley joined the 25-person startup in 1999, one year after formation, noticed the group only sold microarray chips, which were useful in examining specific spots on the human genome.
Flatley had a vision to fulfill the human genome project. The CEO made his first pivot when bought Solexa because they provided a technology he needed. Solexa sequences genomes by synthesis, which is 100 times faster than other technologies. Within three years Flatley built Solexa from a $2.5 million business to a $100 million business, reaching new markets by expanding internationally. His accelerated growth shutdown competitors and many had to phase-out.
The second pivot taken by Illumina was to acquire Verinata Health. VH is a maker of noninvasive prenatal sequencing test to identify fetal abnormalities. This investment has potential to return billions in revenue. In the past decade, Illumina has spent more than $1.2 billion on acquisitions. These acquired companies have profited very well for Illumina.
A smartphone app is currently available to review your genome if it has already been analyzed. The app tells you what your genetic variation is and what the genome means. This is significant because the cost of sequencing has fallen faster than the cost of computing.
NASDDQ: ILMN opened today at share price $205.76
Announced earnings on Tuesday, April 21st; $0.91 EPS, beating the analysts consensus
$20 Billion market opportunity
Over 3,750 employees