Illumina has formed collaborative partnerships with AstraZeneca, Janssen Biotech and Sanofi to develop a universal next-generation sequencing (NGS)-based oncology test system.
The initial strategic partner firms will work with Illumina to develop the system, which could be used for clinical trials of targeted cancer therapies.
The partnership aims to develop and commercialise a multi-gene panel for therapeutic selection, which in turn will result in transition from single-analyte companion diagnostics to a more comprehensive tool for precision medicine.
Friends of Cancer Research chair and founder Dr Ellen Sigal said: "The transition to patient-centred companion therapeutics marks a new era for oncology and we are pleased to see pharmaceutical companies working with Illumina on a universal platform to bring life-saving treatments through their development pipelines.
"This is the type of collaboration that will make real progress for patients."
AstraZeneca personalised healthcare and biomarkers vice-president Ruth March said: "This partnership has the potential to deliver an unprecedented amount of clinical information from a single test.
"Illumina’s technology will inform doctors about the molecular make-up of their patients’ tumours, enabling them to match medicines to the drivers of disease.
"Our aim is that doctors can use these tests to prescribe the right drugs to the right patients, bringing benefits to healthcare professionals, payers and patients alike."
An estimated 800 oncology drugs are currently in development, with 125 known cancer driver genes discovered to date, of which 71 are tumour suppressors and 54 oncogenes.