SHANGHAI, China—PerkinElmer Inc. has announced a newcollaboration with the National Center for Drug Screening (NCDS) to advancepersonalized medicine and drug profiling in China. The two organizations willestablish a personalized drug research and development platform that willvalidate biomarkers for individualized disease treatment for Chinese patients.
Underscoring the joint effort's significance to bothpartners, its launch was celebrated by a ceremony at the Chinese National CompoundLibrary in Zhangjiang Hi-tech Park, Shanghai, attended by key governmental andcorporate leaders, including Jianjun Cheng, CCP Secretary of Shanghai Instituteof Materia Medica, Chinese Academy of Sciences; Weihua Song, deputy director ofShanghai Zhangjiang INNOPARK Administrative Committee; Robert Friel,PerkinElmer's chairman and CEO; and Dr. Ming-Wei Wang, director of the NCDS.Dr. Martina Bielefeld, an eight-year veteran in drug discovery R&D with thecompany and now sales leader for Asia Pacific, will lead the collaboration fromthe PerkinElmer side. Wang has already begun development work, Bielefeld notes,and the first biomarkers have been validated in his lab.
"It is an honor for PerkinElmer to collaborate with Dr.Wang, who is one of the pioneers in the field of personalized medicine," Frieltold the assembled dignitaries. "We look forward to working with Dr. Wang, theNCDS and Chinese scientists to develop a significant personalized drug researchand development technology platform, which will enable patients to be treatedmore accurately, safely and efficiently."
Bielefeld notes that PerkinElmer has been active in Chinaover the past few years in the imaging field.
"We brought in expertise on live-cell imaging—from stemcells to cancer—that quickly resulted in success and publication in journalslike Cell. Now we're also focusing onthe diagnostic side of inherited diseases."
She says PerkinElmer added the "life-science research partand human health part" with the acquisition of Caliper Life Sciences in 2011.The new program will include sequencing patient samples in order to establishgenomic information for drug profiling, including validation of biomarkers forpersonalized disease treatment and related informatics solutions.
As a part of this program, PerkinElmer and the NCDS willfirst undertake a study on metabolic diseases to validate new diagnostics forthe Chinese population utilizing next-generation sequencing technologies. Onceoptimized, the technology platform will be implemented in CLIA testinglaboratories and hospitals throughout China.
"It will be a real team effort," Bielefeld says, "with ourChinese partners providing patient samples, prep and handling, whilePerkinElmer provides people and technology such as chip-based microfluidicsystems. We'll also handle data sets using software such as Spotfire."
Spotfire analyzes data using statistics.
"As an important customer and long-term collaborator ofPerkinElmer in the field of life sciences and drug discovery, the NationalCenter for Drug Screening is committed to the research and development of newand effective drugs," Wang said. "For the majority of drugs that are availablein China, the respective biomarkers have not yet been fully validated. We arevery excited to build this state-of-the-art personalized medicine program withPerkinElmer, which will allow us to offer vital insights to improve the qualityof healthcare in China."
The NCDS is a joint venture of the Ministry of Science andTechnology, the Chinese Academy of Sciences and the Shanghai MunicipalityGovernment, and is the only national center in China specializing in screeningfor new drugs. The center offers drug screening services and technicalconsultation to universities, research institutions and pharmaceuticalcompanies nationwide.