British genomics project signs WuXi NextCODE as Chinese partner

WuXi NextCODE co-founder and COO Hannes Thor Smárason

Genomics England, the company set up by the country's Department of Health to sequence 100,000 human genomes, has brought in China's WuXi NextCODE as the first of its "clinical interpretation partners," according to a report by state-owned news agency Xinhua.

Genomics England plans to sequence 100,000 whole genomes and is working with these interpretation partners to focus on people with rare diseases as well as common cancers. The company said the project could "lead to a better understanding of disease and more personalized care for patients in the future," Xinhua reported.

WuXi NextCODE's sequence analysis platform "will help us to return high quality variant interpretation results back to clinicians and make a direct impact on patient care," said Dr. Augusto Rendon, Director of Bioinformatics at Genomics England, according to the Xinhua report.

Hannes Smárason, president and COO of WuXi NextCODE, said "we are very pleased to be playing a central role in a project that is a driving force for precision medicine worldwide. We look forward to putting our technology to work for NHS patients through interpretation and by applying the knowledge gained to advance the development of targeted new therapies for cancer and a range of rare conditions," according to a statement the companies released.

WuXi NextCODE in October signed another genomics deal with Sidra Medical and Research Center in Qatar to develop research and bioinformatics programs and has also signed a deal with the San Antonio 1000 Genome Project in the United States.

- here's the release
- here's the story from Xinhua

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