Local science technology firm Illumina Inc. is collaborating with North Carolina-based Q2 Solutions to establish a framework for developing companion diagnostics, medical tests that are used “as a companion” to a drug to see if the drug is going to work for the patient.

Illumina, one of San Diego’s largest public companies worth about $20.5 billion, is a global leader in making next-generation sequencing machines.

As part of the agreement, lab services firm Q2 Solutions will use Illumina’s MiSeqDx instrument to develop companion diagnostics based on next-generation sequencing.

"The industry is quickly moving toward a world of precision medicine, and we believe companion diagnostics are key to unlocking a new future for patients who are battling diseases, such as cancer, where more targeted accurate therapies are critical," Q2Solutions CEO Costa Panagos said in a statement.

The collaboration will support drug development programs of Q2’s sponsors, and will allow the company to develop, manufacture, and distribute testing kits in addition to its regular clinical trial work.