WuXi NextCODE, Huawei Launch Precision Medicine Cloud for China
By Bio-IT World Staff
May 24, 2016 | WuXi AppTec and Huawei launched the China Precision Medicine Cloud today. The two companies hope the platform will support the Chinese government’s Precision Medicine Initiative, and link researchers across China through a secure nationwide network. The companies believe that a unified cloud will enable both clinical and research genomics in real time, and they hope to link scientific excellence and data from across China through a secure nationwide network and governmental, medical, academic and industry collaborations.
News of China’s own Precision Medicine Initiative was released in January of this year. Initial plans are expansive, comprising hundreds of separate projects to sequence genomes and gather clinical data, with investment ranging from tens of millions of yuan to more than 100 million yuan.
Although the cloud project launched by Huawei and WuXi wasn’t commissioned or designed by the government, the companies believe there is great need for it. “There is a lot of demand for it from many customers and sectors that will be part of the precision medicine landscape in China—institutions doing big cohort studies, hospitals delivering rare, reproductive and cancer diagnostics, pharma, and even wellness companies,” explained Edward Farmer, WuXi NextCode’s Vice President, Communications and New Ventures.
To build the cloud infrastructure to support these projects, Huawei, a global information and communications technology provider based in Shenzhen, China, contributes its national network for cloud computing, while WuXi AppTec brings sequencing capability and WuXi NextCODE’s platform for organizing, mining and sharing genomics big data.
The two companies will follow the guidance of the China Food and Drug Administration (CFDA) and work closely with partner life-science cloud providers to develop the data standards and exchange framework required to deliver the China PMI.
WuXi AppTec and WuXi NextCODE solutions already meet many US standards, and have proven their ability on large, collaborative projects. In March the company announced that it was hosting the Simons Simplex Collection—the Simons Foundation’s collection of autism spectrum disorder genetic data—for global access through the WuXi NextCODE Exchange. Late last year, Genomics England announced that WuXi NextCODE be its first clinical interpretation partner in the field of cancer.
“It is an honor to have the opportunity to do our part in enabling doctors, scientists, companies and policymakers to develop and implement the most advanced precision medicine across China,” said Dr. Ge Li, Chairman and CEO of WuXi AppTec, in a statement. “The China Precision Medicine Cloud aims to harness unique strengths to accelerate innovation. This collaboration is a direct extension of the WuXi commitment to services with high clinical impact, leveraging big data to create the one kind of value that matters: benefit for people and patients.”
“We are focused on unlocking the full potential of precision medicine in China,” said Hannes Smarason, COO of WuXi NextCODE, in the same statement. “This is a big data challenge, and what we are creating here is the fusion of the largest scale genomics platform and the leading China cloud network. It is a win-win for China Precision Medicine and its impact here and around the world.”