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Chinese Services Group WuXi Buys NextCODE Health for $65m


January 9, 2015 | WuXi PharmaTech headquartered in Shanghai has acquired NextCODE Health of Iceland for $65 million in cash. The acquisition will merge the WuXi Genome Center with NextCODE to form WuXi NextCODE Genomics. 

The business will be headquartered in Shanghai, with operations in Cambridge, Massachusetts, and Reykjavik, Iceland.  The leadership of WuXi NextCODE Genomics will include Dr. Ge Li as CEO, Edward Hu as CFO, Hannes Smárason as COO, Dr. Jeffrey Gulcher as CSO, Dr. Hongye Sun as CTO, and Dr. Hakon Gudbjartsson as VP Informatics.

WuXi has operations in both China and the United States and offers a full range of drug discovery services for the biopharmaceutical industry including sequencing, assay development, validation, and testing services. The WuXi Genome Center was established in 2011, and has ten Illumina HiSex X instruments in operation, and meets international clinical standards. It is the only CLIA-certified clinical genomics laboratory in China.

NextCODE has operations in Europe and the United States offering a genome sequence analysis platform developed from deCODE genetics’ clinical genomics platform, and an efficient database architecture

The acquisition links two complimentary offerings, and expands the new company’s reach globally.

“This acquisition lays the groundwork for the creation of an integrated global enterprise with unique advantages for applying genomics to medicine,” the company said in a press release. “It broadens and enhances WuXi’s existing genomic laboratory services for biopharmaceutical research and clinical development, as well as NextCODE’s unique capabilities in genome analysis.  It provides global commercial customers of both entities with comprehensive genomic and bioinformatic capabilities, from CLIA-certified whole genome and whole exome sequencing to the analysis and interpretation of that sequencing data necessary to provide effective diagnosis and treatment.”

“With the huge unmet medical needs in diseases with a genetic component and the rapid advances in genomics and bioinformatics, now is the right time for WuXi to make a strategic investment in this field, and NextCODE is the right partner,” said Dr. Ge Li, Chairman and CEO of WuXi PharmaTech in the announcement.  “This new venture of WuXi NextCODE Genomics will create important new genomic and bioinformatic products and services to help make personalized treatment and medicine a reality.  It will also enable doctors to provide better treatments to patients."

“With this transaction, WuXi and NextCODE will deploy the unique advantages of their combined platform in virtually every major application of genomics worldwide,” said Hannes Smarason and Jeffrey Gulcher, co-founders of NextCODE Health in the announcement.  “In WuXi, we have a superior partner with strengths, including CLIA-certified sequencing and leading global pharmaceutical customers with a strong need for companion diagnostics that are highly complementary to those of NextCODE.  Together, WuXi and NextCODE have the technology, vision, and resources to be a leader in the sequencing revolution for the benefit of patients and for the advancement of medicine around the world.”

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