Providence Health Care and partners team up with China’s BGI to Accelerate Precision Medicine

Oct 20, 2016 | News

Providence Health Care has teamed up leading health and research organizations in British Columbia and the world’s largest genomics organization, based in China, forming a global partnership to bring together advanced technologies and individualized therapy for cancer and other diseases.

The partnership, between Shenzhen-based BGI, Providence Health Care, St. Paul’s Foundation, Vancouver Prostate Centre (VPC), Genome British Columbia (Genome BC), and Deloitte Inc., focuses on applying next generation sequencing technologies and big data to accelerate personalized medicine and improve outcomes for patients.

“This partnership links the best researchers in British Columbia and China with cutting edge genomic technologies to share expertise and accelerate innovation on a global scale,” said Dianne Doyle, President and CEO, Providence Health Care. “Our mutual goal is more effective treatments for patients using precision medicine.”

The collaboration aims to leverage each partner’s strengths to create health centres of excellence in both Shenzhen and Vancouver. Cooperative research programs will build on BC’s capability for world-class genomics research and BGI’s internationally recognized expertise in ‘omics’ technology, data analysis and research.

A Memorandum of Understanding was signed by the parties at a ceremony at the Vancouver Board of Trade during the American Society of Human Genetics 2016 annual meeting.

The partners envision creating a joint research centre at the new St. Paul’s Hospital campus that would involve scientists and clinicians from UBC’s Faculty of Medicine and use BGI’s cost-effective, high-throughput sequencing capabilities. Deloitte will contribute its expertise managing the big data analytics environment to facilitate world class research and enable health information to be securely shared with the various research partners.

BGI, the world’s largest genomics organization, began a partnership with the VPC earlier this year for a BGI-VPC Joint Research Laboratory to combine BGI’s advanced and cost-effective technologies, and VPC’s world class cancer research and drug development program. The partnership focuses on individualized therapy for cancer through evidence-based precision oncology and clinical trials, as well as commercialization for diagnostics and treatment of prostate and others cancers, such as non-invasive “liquid biopsies” for monitoring men with advanced prostate cancer.

Another collaboration is a health economic analysis of personalized medicine, currently being conducted by BGI and the Centre for Health Evaluation and Outcome Sciences (CHEOS). The goal is to develop an economic assessment of sequencing based non-invasive prenatal testing, and an early detection test for cancer, and share the findings in peer reviewed journals, with a strategy to help disseminate information about the technology to health plan sponsors and insurance carriers worldwide.

Read the full news release here

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