Chinese genome sequencing company BGI Genomics and Australian digital health startup Pryzm Health announced the start of a collaboration to advance precision public health in Australia.
WHY IT MATTERS
Pryzm currently develops secure and clinically compliant software to support phenotyping and phenotype analysis to serve patients and the healthcare industry.
Phenotyping and other computational genetics have the potential to further understanding of human diseases — BGI Genomics and Pryzm will develop foundational capabilities to drive broader access to precision medicine approaches across the health system.
The movement, termed precision public health, is designed to enable more rapid diagnoses, improved efficiency, better patient outcomes and more economically-sustainable health practices.
ON THE RECORD
“Australia has a world-class health system, and significant capability in genomics research and in the application of genomics data in clinical practice,” Dr. Ning Li, chief development officer of BGI, said in a statement.
He added the Pryzm team’s “advanced capabilities” in genome analytics and phenomics made Pryzm an ideal match with BGI’s complementary skills in population-scale genome sequencing.
BGI currently operates in more than 100 countries and regions and works with more than 3,000 medical institutions and more than 300 hospitals.
“We are thrilled to join forces with Pryzm and to explore the combined power of genomics and phenomics with Pryzm to improve patient outcomes and enhance public health,” Li noted.
WHAT ELSE TO KNOW
Pryzm co-founder Dr. Tudor Groza explained one of the key limitations in realising the value of genomic data in both research and clinical practice is access to structured and high-quality phenotypic data.
“Our company’s core capabilities of acquiring and classifying clinical features and symptoms will meet a critical need for accelerating routine use of genomic data in healthcare settings,” he said in a statement. “Our expertise will also ensure the privacy and security of health data.”
Formed in 1999 to participate in the Human Genome Project, BGI is one of the world's largest genetics research centres, providing a wide variety of next generation sequencing (NGS) services to provide researchers and healthcare professionals with genomic data.
Last year, the Australian government announced a 10-year AUD $500 million fund to advance the use of genomics in health, indicating the use of genetic information in mainstream health practice is gaining support from the government, industry and scientific and clinical communities.
“Despite the well-known benefits of genomics to improve patient outcomes, access to genomic information in healthcare remains limited,” Pryzm co-Founder Dr. Marcel Dinger said in a statement.
He noted the partnership would help pave the way to make this transformational technology and information available to all those that need it, particularly those affected by rare or undiagnosed conditions.