WuXi teams up with Foundation Medicine to bring cancer profiling to China

WuXi PharmaTech CEO Ge Li

WuXi PharmaTech ($WX) has struck a deal with the genomics experts at Foundation Medicine ($FMI), signing on to offer the company's cancer-decoding services to drug developers in its native China.

Under the deal, WuXi will offer its partner's FoundationOne genomic assay at its lab in Shanghai, conducting tests designed to profile patients' tumors and help investigators determine just which drugs might treat them. Without disclosing financial terms, WuXi said it has licensed Foundation Medicine's technology and plans to offer it for use in Chinese clinical trials, pitching the service to local and international drugmakers as they develop targeted cancer therapies.

"China is poised to become the second-largest pharmaceutical market within the next few years," WuXi CEO Ge Li said in a statement. "WuXi has seen rapidly increasing demand for molecular profiling services from biopharmaceutical companies as they scale up R&D operations and early development activities in the region."

For Foundation Medicine, the deal opens up a new frontier for its pioneering technology. The company has already struck up alliances with the likes of AstraZeneca ($AZN), Johnson & Johnson ($JNJ), Novartis ($NVS) and Sanofi ($SNY). Amplifying its Asian presence with WuXi's help will only spread the adoption of FoundationOne, CEO Michael Pellini said, and the CRO's wide presence in the nation made it an ideal partner.

The deal is a deeper dive into genomics for WuXi, whose Shanghai operation is the only CLIA-certified lab in China. Earlier this year, the CRO became one of the few researchers in the world to buy a HiSeq X Ten, Illumina's ($ILMN) 10-device system that promises population-scale human whole genome sequencing at $1,000 per person. WuXi has also partnered with Pacific Biomarkers to get its hands on that company's menu of validated assays to complement its existing testing services.

- read the statement

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