Harvard connection helps WuXi NextCODE land Chinese hospital contract

WuXi NextCODE has added the Children's Hospital of Fudan University (CHFU) to its client list. The deal sees WuXi NextCODE deploy its full suite of sequencing and informatics tools to support a push by CHFU to apply genomics to the care of some of the 2.3 million patients that pass through its doors each year.

Shanghai, China-based CHFU wants to ratchet up its genomics program to improve the care it can offer to patients with rare diseases. WuXi NextCODE is to play a central role in the initiative, from the sequencing of materials through to the provision of informatics infrastructure and interpretation tools. The deal draws on some of the capabilities WuXi NextCODE has built up to provide services to Boston Children's Hospital and England's 100,000 Genomes Project, both of which are working with the Sino-American firm on rare diseases. WuXi NextCODE's client list was part of the appeal to CHFU.

"Looking for the genomics infrastructure that could deliver the best results for our patients, we saw that our colleagues at Harvard Medical School and other leading institutions were choosing WuXi NextCODE," CHFU President Guoying Huang said in a statement. "We've come to the same conclusion." Part of the attraction is that organizations with which CHFU collaborates are using the platform. "We can also collaborate instantly with sister institutions," Huang said. The collaboration angle suggests there is value in IT providers making a quick start in the race to sign up customers.

WuXi NextCODE has done well in this regard. The deal with CHFU means the unit now has a hand in large-scale genomics initiatives on three continents. Claritas Genomics, a spinout of Boston Children's Hospital, teamed up with the company in December to advance its ambitions to handle 20,000 sequencing tests a year. And in June, Genomics England, the organization behind the 100,000 Genomes Project, picked WuXi NextCODE to provide clinical interpretation support for cancer and rare disease.

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