Alibaba, BGI and Intel team up for precision medicine project


Intel ($INTC) has hooked up with a pair of Chinese tech leaders to set up a cloud-based precision medicine platform. The alliance combines Intel's computing capabilities with BGI's genome analytics engine and a clutch of services offered by e-commerce giant Alibaba.

Santa Clara, CA-based Intel and its partners are pitching their platform as the start of the move toward precision medicine in China. Full details of what the allies are offering are yet to emerge--a memorandum of understanding was only inked last last month--but the overall picture presented to date is in keeping with other initiatives labeled as precision medicine projects. The partners think that by enabling the storage, sharing and analysis of genetic data, they can contribute to the creation of more effective medicines and preventative healthcare services.

The alliance builds upon a preexisting relationship between AliCloud and BGI. "With AliCloud's support, our BGI Online has become the basis of an open, collaborative cloud environment that is a win for all parties." BGI CEO Ye Yin said in a statement. "The new platform will attract more users and developers to BGI's solutions, drive continued innovation for medicine, and grow a strong precision medicine industry." BGI's role in the project is to build a genomics data storage and analytics platform.

Intel has come on board to help with the optimization of computing systems to the specific speed and privacy needs of genetic research. The work will put Intel in close collaboration with Alibaba, which is handling a diverse range of tasks in keeping with the sprawling nature of its business. AliCloud, the cloud computing wing of Alibaba, is setting up the system on which the platform will run and contributing data analytics capabilities. Other affiliates of Alibaba are helping out with the payment infrastructure, marketing and multiple other tasks.

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