WuXi NextCODE lands starring role in 100,000 Genomes Project

Genomics England has selected WuXi NextCODE as its first partner for the clinical interpretation of cancer samples processed by the massive sequencing project it is overseeing. WuXi NextCODE is also applying its technology to the interpretation of genomic data from rare disease patients.

The naming of WuXi NextCODE as a Clinical Interpretation Partner comes 5 months after the company was picked by Genomics England as a finalist in a competition to find the best data wranglers. At that stage, WuXi NextCODE was in line to interpret a portion of the first 8,000 genomes sequenced by the initiative. The new agreement cements WuXi NextCODE's status as a long-term partner to Genomics England, a position it has earned on the strength of its database model and analysis capabilities.

"Their sequence analysis platform will help us to return high quality variant interpretation results back to clinicians and make a direct impact on patient care," Genomics England Bioinformatics Chief Augusto Rendon said in a statement. The idea is that clinicians in the National Health Service will be able to analyze patient sequence data, leading to the identification of mutations that are driving the proliferation of tumors and genetic variants that are linked to the development of rare diseases.

Securing a starring role in the interpretation of samples from cancer and rare disease patients, the two groups on which Genomics England is focusing, is the latest in a string of boosts for NextCODE since it was acquired by Chinese CRO WuXi PharmaTech ($WX) 11 months ago. Over that period, the company, which spun out of deCODE Genetics following its $415 million sale to Amgen ($AMGN), has landed roles in sequencing projects in the U.S., U.K., China and Qatar.

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