WuXi NextCODE acquires GMI as part of $400M genomics research push in Ireland

Genomics giant WuXi NextCODE acquired Genomics Medicine Ireland as part of a $400 million investment that could push Ireland to the forefront of global genomic research and advanced life sciences.

Financial terms of the GMI acquisition weren’t disclosed, however the Ireland Strategic Investment Fund kicked in $70 million as part of the push. Other investors included ARCH Venture Partners, Polaris Partners, Temasek, Yunfeng Capital and Sequoia Capital.

GMI becomes a subsidiary of WuXi NextCODE as part of the initiative, which is expected to create as many as 600 new jobs over five years. Under terms of the investment, $225 million is committed to GMI, and that could grow to $400 million pending the achievement of certain milestones.

GMI is expected to become the cornerstone for the International Centre for Advanced Life Sciences.

GMI’s goal is to launch one of the world’s largest whole genome sequencing programs that will look to enroll 400,000 volunteers throughout the country designed to improve healthcare benefits and create a platform for research and discovery of new precision medicines.

“I believe that this will be a unique platform for developing new medicine and better healthcare, to the benefit first of patients in Ireland but also people around the globe,” Rob Brainin, WuXi NextCODE’s chief executive, said in a statement. “Our experience in powering national genome efforts on three continents positions us well to accelerate the outstanding success of GMI to date.”

Additionally, discussions are underway to fund a genomics accelerator that would support startups and early-stage companies with similar specialist skills and research capabilities, the groups said.