BGI, H3 initiate cancer data partnership

Companies to sequence, publish genomic data from preclinical data models

Kelsey Kaustinen
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CAMBRIDGE, Mass.—Biopharmaceutical company H3 BiomedicineInc. and genomics giant BGI have jointly announced the initiation of apartnership for the sequencing and publishing of genomic data from preclinicalcancer models. The research will be aimed at identifying and validatingrecurrent gene mutations that could represent potential targets for drugtherapies. Once the analysis is complete, BGI and H3 Biomedicine will publishthe cancer genomic data and make it available to the global research community.
"We are pleased to collaborate with H3 Biomedicine, and tohave this opportunity to apply our state-of-the-art, next-gen sequencingcapabilities and bioinformatics expertise to help advance the discovery ofnovel cancer drug targets and full-scale pharmacogenomics findings," YingruiLi, CEO of BGI Americas, said in a press release regarding the agreement. "Ibelieve this partnership will yield significant, valuable genomic informationthat will lay a solid foundation for developing pre-clinical cancer models andnew anticancer drugs to benefit human health. BGI, in keeping with our globallegacy of collaborative, published research, including our participation inICGC, looks forward to partnering with H3 Biomedicine in developing and sharingthis genomic data with the international research community."
Per the terms of the partnership, BGI will be responsiblefor sequencing 250 cancer cell lines through the use of next-generation,whole-exome sequencing in the first study. Once the sequencing is complete, thepartners will perform a joint analysis of the data to produce a highly curatedset of genetically profiled, preclinical model information. No financial termsfor the partnership were released.
"We truly believe that genomic information generated frompatient samples or material derived thereof should be shared with thescientific community. As a matter of fact, the community has benefitedenormously from collaborative efforts like The Cancer Genome Atlas andInternational Cancer Genome Consortium," Markus Warmuth, M.D., president andCEO of H3 Biomedicine, commented in a statement. "Open access to thisinformation has enabled countless scientific advances, and our intention is tofurther accelerate oncology drug discovery by releasing the data we generatewith BGI. We see this as a significant step in building shared translationaloncology platforms that will bring the research community together to delivernew personalized medicines, especially for those people living with cancers forwhich there are, today, limited treatment options."
Both companies are dedicated to making relevant dataavailable to the public in order to accelerate drug discovery and development.H3 Biomedicine announced a similar collaboration in December 2012 with SageBionetworks. Per the strategic collaboration, the two partners agreed tojointly develop software platforms that would advance H3 Biomedicine's cancergenomics research. Both companies agreed to make the data and tools that resultfrom the agreement accessible to other organizations involved in cancerresearch.
SOURCE: H3 Biomedicine press release

Kelsey Kaustinen

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