Thermo Fisher partners in China to develop joint platform for precision medicine research

In its second precision medicine tie-up this month, Thermo Fisher ($TMO) will collaborate with the West China Hospital of Sichuan University on a platform to research precision medicine.

"With our partners at Thermo Fisher, we are working to enhance the quality of pathological research and clinical diagnosis," said Li Weimin, president of West China Hospital, in a statement. "We are also exploring an opportunity to extend our partnership in Western China by accelerating the development of precise pathological diagnoses that will ultimately help improve people's lives." The duo announced the news during the seventh round of the China-U.S. High-Level Consultation of People-to-People Exchange last week.

The partners are working to make West China Hospital, one of the largest single-site hospitals worldwide, a leading global molecular diagnosis center, they said in the statement. The work will include building training bases for standardized pathologic diagnosticians and standardized pathology quality-control staff. They will also develop advanced laboratories with efficient, safe and integrated business procedures. Further details were not provided.

This comes on the heels of a partnership with Ann Arbor, MI-based Strata to help characterize the mutations that cause cancer. Under this agreement, Thermo Fisher will provide technology to Strata, including its next-gen sequencing systems. The startup plans to sequence the tumors of 100,000 cancer patients and match them to appropriate clinical trials.

This isn't Thermo Fisher's first collaboration in Asia. In 2014, it joined a number of biotechs and academic institutions in the Singaporean government's Diagnostics Development Hub. The hub's goal is to accelerate the development and commercialization of new diagnostic tests in order to diagnose diseases earlier and improve health outcomes. And last July, Pfizer ($PFE) tapped Thermo Fisher's next-gen sequencing capabilities for its Center of Excellence in Precision Medicine in Chile.

- here's the statement