BGI, H3 initiate cancer data partnership
CAMBRIDGE, Mass.—Biopharmaceutical company H3 Biomedicine Inc. and genomics giant BGI have jointly announced the initiation of a partnership for the sequencing and publishing of genomic data from preclinical cancer models. The research will be aimed at identifying and validating recurrent gene mutations that could represent potential targets for drug therapies. Once the analysis is complete, BGI and H3 Biomedicine will publish the cancer genomic data and make it available to the global research community.
"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," Yingrui Li, CEO of BGI Americas, said in a press release regarding the agreement. "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."
Per the terms of the partnership, BGI will be responsible for sequencing 250 cancer cell lines through the use of next-generation, whole-exome sequencing in the first study. Once the sequencing is complete, the partners will perform a joint analysis of the data to produce a highly curated set of genetically profiled, preclinical model information. No financial terms for the partnership were released.
"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 and International Cancer Genome Consortium," Markus Warmuth, M.D., president and CEO of H3 Biomedicine, commented in a statement. "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."
Both companies are dedicated to making relevant data available to the public in order to accelerate drug discovery and development. H3 Biomedicine announced a similar collaboration in December 2012 with Sage Bionetworks. Per the strategic collaboration, the two partners agreed to jointly develop software platforms that would advance H3 Biomedicine's cancer genomics research. Both companies agreed to make the data and tools that result from the agreement accessible to other organizations involved in cancer research.
SOURCE: H3 Biomedicine press release