WuXi PharmaTech, an open-access R&D capability and technology platform company serving the pharmaceutical, biotechnology and medical device industries with operations in China and the U.S., has acquired NextCODE Health, a genomic analysis and bioinformatics company with operations in the U.S. and Iceland, for $65 million in cash.
WuXi plans to merge NextCODE Health and WuXi's Genome Center into a new company to be named WuXi NextCODE Genomics. The business will be headquartered in Shanghai, with operations in Cambridge, Mass., and Reykjavik, Iceland. The leadership of WuXi NextCODE Genomics will include Dr. Ge Li as CEO, Edward Hu as chief financial officer, Hannes Smarason as chief operating officer, Dr. Jeffrey Gulcher as chief scientific officer, Dr. Hongye Sun as chief technology officer and Dr. Hakon Gudbjartsson as vice president informatics.
NextCODE Health was spun out from deCODE genetics after the latter was acquired by Amgen in December 2012. deCODE genetics has discovered genetic risk factors for dozens of diseases ranging from cardiovascular disease to cancer. In October 2013, NextCODE Health announced it had obtained from Amgen a five-year exclusive license for sequence-based clinical diagnostic applications using technology developed by deCODE genetics.
NextCODE Health has developed a genome sequence analysis platform and a database architecture enabling clinicians and researchers around the globe to use the full power of next-generation sequencing data to better diagnose and treat diseases. The company's solutions combine the only whole genome analysis system developed at population scale with access to the largest clinical genetics reference database in the world. These capabilities give clinicians and researchers the ability to store, visualize and analyze all of their genetic data at base-by-base resolution, in real time, from any browser; to collaborate with other clinicians and researchers; and thereby to solve more medical cases more efficiently.
The WuXi Genome Center was established in 2011 to provide next-generation sequencing solutions to academics, the life science industry, and medical institutions to advance personalized medicine. By integrating with WuXi AppTec's full range of discovery and development services for the biopharmaceutical industry, the WuXi Genome Center provides a complete solution for drug development projects from target discovery and preclinical and clinical development to personalized medicine.
The center meets international clinical standards and is the only CLIA-certified clinical genomics laboratory in China. WuXi Genome Center has 10 Illumina HiSeq X sequencing machines in operation. In addition to offering sequencing services, WuXi's genomics lab also provides assay development, validation and testing services.
The acquisition lays the groundwork for the creation of an integrated global enterprise for applying genomics to medicine. It broadens and enhances WuXi's existing genomic laboratory services for biopharmaceutical research and clinical development, as well as NextCODE's capabilities in genome analysis. It provides global commercial customers of both entities with genomic and bioinformatic capabilities, from CLIA-certified whole genome and whole exome sequencing to the analysis and interpretation of that sequencing data necessary to provide effective diagnosis and treatment.