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H3 Biomedicine, BGI Announce to develop, share cancer genomic sequencing data

Friday, March 22, 2013

H3 Biomedicine, a biopharmaceutical company specializing in oncology treatments, and BGI, the largest genomics organization in the world, have entered into a partnership to sequence and publish genomic data from pre-clinical cancer models.

This research, which aims to identify and validate recurrent gene mutations that are potential targets for drug therapies, is crucial for the entire oncology drug discovery industry. Consistent with their respective ongoing commitments to open-access research, as well as BGI’s history of published, collaborative research, H3 and BGI will release the cancer genomic data to the global research community upon completion of data analysis. 

“We truly believe that genomic information generated from patient samples or material derived thereof should be shared with the scientific community. As a matter of fact, the community has benefited enormously from collaborative efforts like The Cancer Genome Atlas (TCGA) and International Cancer Genome Consortium (ICGC),” said Markus Warmuth, M.D., president and CEO of H3 Biomedicine. “Open access to this information has enabled countless scientific advances, and our intention is to further accelerate oncology drug discovery by releasing the data we generate with BGI. We see this as a significant step in building shared translational oncology platforms that will bring the research community together to deliver new personalized medicines, especially for those people living with cancers for which there are, today, limited treatment options.”

Recent advances in human cancer genomics have revealed novel cancer target opportunities that will enable personalized cancer medicine approaches. Many of the identified recurrent gene mutations exist at low frequencies and the information necessary to select relevant pre-clinical models to study these mutations does not exist. Under the partnership, BGI will sequence 250 cancer cell lines via next-generation, whole exome sequencing in this first study. H3 Biomedicine and BGI will jointly analyze the data to deliver a highly curated set of genetically profiled, pre-clinical model information that will help to accelerate drug discovery and development efforts.

“We are pleased to collaborate with H3 Biomedicine, and to have this opportunity to apply our state-of-the-art, next-gen sequencing capabilities and bioinformatics expertise to help advance the discovery of novel cancer drug targets and full-scale pharmacogenomics findings,” said Yingrui Li, CEO of BGI Americas. “I believe this partnership will yield significant, valuable genomic information that will lay a solid foundation for developing pre-clinical cancer models and new anticancer drugs to benefit human health. BGI, in keeping with our global legacy of collaborative, published research, including our participation in ICGC, looks forward to partnering with H3 Biomedicine in developing and sharing this genomic data with the international research community.”

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