February 17, 2012, Cambridge, MA and Shenzhen, China - BGI, the world's largest genomics organization and Asia Cancer Research Group (ACRG), a not-for-profit organization established to accelerate research and ultimately improve treatment for patients affected with the most commonly-diagnosed cancers in Asia, jointly announced a new collaboration on cancer genomics research as part of ACRG's mission to generate a unique and best-in-class data source on cancers prevalent in Asia, and to accelerate research and development of improved treatments for those cancers by freely sharing the resulting data with the scientific community.
The two parties will work together to conduct genomic research on lung cancer and liver cancer, two of the most common cancers in Asia. Lung cancer is one of the most common cancers for males and causes about 1.3 million deaths globally per year. The incidence of lung cancer has risen dramatically for both males and females in Asia in past decades. Liver cancer is the sixth most commonly diagnosed cancer and the third leading cause of cancer death. Hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC), the most common type of liver cancer, causes nearly 700,000 deaths worldwide annually, half of which occur in China.
BGI and ACRG will conduct the lung and liver cancer studies at the genomic level. ACRG will provide samples of lung and liver cancer tissues, and BGI will sequence these samples on its large-scale next-generation sequencing platforms, produce high-quality data output and provide bioinformatics analysis.
"The collaboration will accelerate the establishment of a pharmacogenomic database for Asian lung and livercancers," said Dr. Mao Mao, President of ACRG. "Through this collaboration and the subsequent sharing of information with the broader scientific community, we are hoping to increase our knowledge of these two common cancers in Asia, and to accelerate the development of new diagnostic methods and therapies."
"We are very excited about this new partnership with ACRG. Given BGI's expertise in genomics research and ACRG's advances in cancer studies, I believe this partnership will accelerate cancer research, from understanding the basic mechanism to developing effective treatments for cancer," said Professor Huanming Yang, Chairman of BGI. "It's our first time applying comprehensive solutions to cancer research, and we believe the study will bring new perspectives for researchers that could facilitate biotechnology and pharmaceutical research in the future." he added.
BGI was founded in Beijing, China, in 1999 with the mission to become a premier scientific partner for the global research community. The goal of BGI is to make leading-edge genomic science highly accessible, which it achieves through its investment in infrastructure, leveraging the best available technology, economies of scale, and expert bioinformatics resources. BGI, and its affiliates, BGI Americas, headquartered in Cambridge, MA, and BGI Europe, headquartered in Copenhagen, Denmark, have established partnerships and collaborations with leading academic and government research institutions as well as global biotechnology and pharmaceutical companies, supporting a variety of disease, agricultural, environmental, and related applications.
BGI has a proven track record of excellence, delivering results with high efficiency and accuracy for innovative, high-profile research: research that has generated over 170 publications in top-tier journals such as Nature and Science. BGI's many accomplishments include: sequencing one percent of the human genome for the International Human Genome Project, contributing 10 percent to the International Human HapMap Project, carrying out research to combat SARS and German deadly E. coli, playing a key role in the Sino-British Chicken Genome Project, and completing the sequence of the rice genome, the silkworm genome, the first Asian diploid genome, the potato genome, and, more recently, have sequenced the human Gut Metagenome, and a significant proportion of the genomes for the1000 Genomes Project.
For more information about BGI, please visit www.bgiamericas.com or www.genomics.cn
Joyce Peng, Ph.D.
BGI Americas Corporation
Bicheng Yang, Ph.D.
Public Communication Officer