DNA sequencing powerhouse Illumina announced a partnership with diagnostics giant Qiagen this week that is exactly the kind of shrewd tactical move that has long cemented the firm’s dominance in the market for machines that read genetic code. Investors, however, seem to feel that, in this case, past performance is no guarantee of future results.

The 15-year partnership gives Qiagen the right to develop diagnostic test kits using Illumina’s MySeq and NextSeq DNA sequencers — in other words, to create tests that are used to help pick the right drugs for cancer patients, and, eventually, in other diseases. This, it would seem, is hopeful news for medicine. Kevin Keegan, senior director of oncology marketing at Illumina, said the deal will help Illumina “reach a segment of the market that is much broader than what we could do on our own.”

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