BGI and Vancouver Prostate Centre Working Together on Precision Medicine to Improve Outcomes for Men with Prostate Cancer

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VPC-BGI meeting

May 18, 2016, Vancouver, B.C – BGI, headquartered in China, and the Vancouver Prostate Centre (VPC) signed a memorandum of understanding to bring together advanced and cost effective sequencing, genomics and computing technologies of BGI with the world class translational cancer research and drug development program at the VPC. The BGI-VPC Joint Research Laboratory will also work to advance individualized therapy for cancer through evidence-based precision oncology and carry out clinical trials and commercialization for treatment of prostate and others cancers.

The MoU was signed at a signing ceremony at the Vancouver Convention Centre as part of the official visit of Guangdong Provence’s Party Secretary Hu Chunhua to British Columbia. The agreement was witnessed by the Honourable Christy Clark, Premier of British Columbia and researchers Dr. Colin Collins and Dr. Yuzhuo Wang of the Vancouver Prostate Centre.

At the VPC, doctors and scientists work together closely seeking better outcomes for patients with prostate and other cancers. To do this, they are constantly creating and studying new drugs. “The Vancouver Prostate Centre has world leading capabilities in discovering novel cancer gene targets and developing first in field drugs to better treat advanced cancer,” said Dr. Martin Gleave, Executive Director, Vancouver Prostate Centre, Distinguished Professor and Head of Department of Urologic Sciences, UBC.

BGI is the largest genome organization in the world and the VPC is a world leading translational prostate cancer centre with a very large tissue bank including a unique living tumour bank, a large patient population, and an efficient discovery and translation pipeline. Together BGI and the VPC have an opportunity to combine their complementary strengths to focus on and accelerate translational oncology and personalized medicine. Over the past two years BGI and VPC scientists and clinicians have combined 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. A specific example includes the development of non invasive “liquid biopsies” for monitoring men with advanced metastatic prostate cancer.

“One of our dedicated efforts is to develop precision medicine towards more effective treatments to patients,” said Dr. Jian Wang, President of BGI.  “This agreement will bridge research and training from the best researchers in British Columbia and China to share expertise in meeting our goal to control prostate and other cancers,” said Dr. Colin Collins, Director of BGI-VPC Joint Research Laboratory and Professor in the Department of Urologic Sciences at UBC and at BGI. Added Dr. Yuzhuo Wang Professor at UBC, Co-Director of the BGI-VPC Joint Research Laboratory and founder of the Living Tumor Laboratory, “this partnership will also capitalize on world leading ability to propagate patient derived tumours as avatars- the key missing link in ‘evidence-based’ precision oncology.”

The Vancouver Prostate Centre (VPC) is a UBC and VGH Centre of Excellence and a National Centre of Excellence for Commercialization and Research (CECR). The Centre’s research focuses on the discovery of molecular mechanisms of cancer progression, therapeutic resistance, and the development of new treatments, services, and products to improve outcomes in patients with cancer. The VPC comprises a multi-disciplinary team of 23 senior research and clinical scientists and more than 200 staff in three state-of-the-art facilities. The VPC integrates the expertise of scientists and clinicians in urology, cellular and molecular biology, pharmacology, socio-behavioural sciences, functional genomics, and medical oncology.
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BGI was founded in 1999 with the vision of using genomics to benefit mankind and has since become the largest genomic organization in the world. With a focus on research and applications in the healthcare, agriculture, conservation, and environmental fields, BGI has a proven track record of innovative, high profile research, which has generated over 1,500 publications, many in top-tier journals such as Nature and Science.

BGI’s distinguished achievements have made a significant contribution to the development of genomics throughout the world.  BGI’s goal is to make state-of-the-art genomics highly accessible to the global research community and clinical markets by integrating the industry’s broadest array of leading technologies, including BGI's own BGISEQ sequencing platform, economies of scale, and expert bioinformatics resources.
BGI also offers a wide portfolio of transformative genetic testing products across major diseases, enabling medical providers and patients worldwide to realize the promise of genomics-based diagnostics and personalized healthcare. BGI’s services and solutions are available in more than 50 countries around the world.

Media contact for the Vancouver Prostate Centre (VPC)
Jehnifer Benoit, Jehnatmenshealthfoundation [dot] ca 604.360.6818

Media contact for Beijing Genome Institute (BGI):
Bicheng Yang, yangbichengatgenomics [dot] cn +86-15013865186

A World Class Centre

The Vancouver Prostate Centre (VPC) has a track record of success that has earned it a reputation as one of the world’s most respected cancer facilities. It is a National Centre of Excellence and a designated Centre of Excellence for Commercialization and Research.


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