SHENZHEN, China and VANCOUVER, British Columbia, September 12, 2014 – BGI, the world’s largest genomics organization, based in China, and The Vancouver Prostate Centre (VPC), a global leader in translational research in cancer, today announced the establishment of the BGI-VPC Joint Research Laboratory, a sequencing and translational research facility, to jointly discover and advance basic and translational programs in oncology, including precision oncology. The collaboration, the first between BGI and any Canadian research institution, will change the landscape of genomic and translational research across Canada and benefit patients worldwide.
The BGI-VPC Joint Research Laboratory, established at the VPC facility in Vancouver and currently available for use, will apply genome research to develop new biomarkers and cancer therapies. The primary focus initially will be on bladder, kidney and prostate cancer, although the collaboration could be expanded to include other cancers of special interest to the VPC and BGI.
Over the next five years, scientists will utilize clinical expertise, a unique repository of metastatic and post-treated cancer specimens, and cutting edge genomics with the goal of improving patient outcomes and quality of life through development of targeted therapies and ultimately evidence based precision oncology. In addition, with the participation of Dr. Yuzhuo Wang, Professor at Vancouver Prostate Centre and Distinguished Scientist at the BC Cancer Agency, researchers will use unique and clinically relevant patient derived xenograft models to dissect the inner workings of tumors. It is anticipated that future collaborative research will range from health and agriculture to environmental research.
“The primary focus of this agreement is to achieve a deeper understanding of advanced and drug-resistant cancers with the implicit goal of improved quality of life for patients,” stated Dr. Colin Collins, Professor at the University of British Columbia and Senior Scientist and Director of Laboratory for Advanced Genome Analysis at VPC. Dr. Martin Gleave, Director of the VPC, added “this partnership is creating tangible synergy that will expand and accelerate our drug discovery pipeline for cancer patients.”
“We welcome this opportunity to collaborate with The Vancouver Prostate Centre, and to make a meaningful contribution to advancing potential new therapies for cancer,” stated Yingrui Li, Chief Executive Officer of BGI Tech Solutions Company. “With our contribution of next generation sequencing equipment and advanced data processing and analysis, we expect the Joint Research Laboratory to make significant discoveries resulting in new, validated therapeutic targets as well as new molecules for commercial development.”