Public Release:  BGI and Association of Czech genetic centers announce opening of a joint prenatal test facility

BGI Shenzhen

Prague, Czech Republic, and Shenzhen, China -- Today BGI Health, a subsidiary sequencing application unit of BGI, and Association of Czech genetic centers (hereinafter called as Association) jointly announced the founding of a genetic test facility center in Prague, Czech, which will be the companies first test center focusing on prenatal diagnostics in Europe. Investment and Business Development Agency CzechInvest helped mediate the project. The announcement ceremony was attended by Mrs Kopicova, the first Vice-Chairman of the Research, Development and Innovation Council of the Czech Government, Dr. Jian Wang, President of BGI and Dr. Matej Stejskal, executive director of GENNET and chairman of Association of Czech genetic centers..

BGI Health is focusing on clinical application of genetic testing technology with aim to decrease birth defects and various human diseases. It provides genetic testing of Chromosome diseases, Monogenic disorder, Hereditary hearing loss, Thalassemia, Neonatal hereditary metabolic disease, Leukemia, Cervical cancer and Hepatitis with its screening and diagnosis technology system throughout human life cycle. The joint facility will combine the expertise of BGI and members of Association and offer easy and quick access to fetal screening services in the Central European region.

The Prague facility will be the first lab to offer health care and reproductive genetic testing services in Europe supplementing the Copenhagen research facility BGI set up in 2012. This new Prague facility will be installed with the latest Ion Proton platform from Life Technologies and BGI's world-class bioinformatics expertise, which enables efficient and accurate testing.

"The facility is poised to be a Centre-of-Excellence facility that receives and processes tests not only the Czech Republic, but also other European counties. Dr. Ning Li, Director of BGI Europe said in his speech, He especially emphasized the current test which will be introduced and performed in this new lab, NIFTY, the non-invasive prenatal test in the first trimester of pregnancy which has huge advantages in its high accuracy and sensitivity without posing any risk to the fetus. We are confident that it will be well received by all pregnant women"

This facility will also be an opportunity for BGI to establish connections with national research groups and government, which potentially will facilitate further joint genomics education, investments and employment opportunities. "I believe this center also will strive to cultivate joint collaborations between China and Europe." Lining added.

"For the Czech Republic, this investment is not only about the two million EUR and tens of new job positions for university alumni in the field of biology, biochemistry and bioinformatics, but also an exceptional opportunity for further development of local science and research activities in genomics and life sciences," said Petr Ocko, acting CEO of CzechInvest agency. "In CzechInvest we do appreciate that we could mediate this project to Czech Republic and we are ready to offer BGI Europe and companies involved in Association a helping hand also in the future," adds Ocko.

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About BGI Health

BGI Health is a subsidiary sequencing application unit of BGI, one of the largest genomics organizations in the world with significant contributions to genetic research. The centre applies human genome research achievements to human health, with the aim to establish the 4P healthcare system: Predication, Prevention, Participatory and Personalized healthcare. It focuses on clinical application of genetic testing technologies in order to decrease birth defects and different human diseases.

BGI Clinical Laboratories provides genetic testing of Chromosome diseases, Monogenic disorder, Hereditary hearing loss, Thalassemia, Neonatal hereditary metabolic disease, Leukemia, Cervical cancer and Hepatitis with the screening and diagnosis technology system throughout human life cycle.

In Europe, BGI Health has established the partnership with many of healthcare service providers and clinics in Spain, Russia, Czekh,Greece, Slovina, among others. For more information or cooperation opportunities, please visit: http://www.bgieurope.org/health

About BGI

BGI was founded in Beijing, China, in 1999 with the mission to become a premier scientific partner for the global research community. The goal of BGI is to make leading-edge genomic science highly accessible, which it achieves through its investment in infrastructure, leveraging the best available technology, economies of scale, and expert bioinformatics resources. BGI, and its affiliates, BGI Americas, headquartered in Cambridge, MA, and BGI Europe, headquartered in Copenhagen, Denmark, have established partnerships and collaborations with leading academic and government research institutions as well as global biotechnology and pharmaceutical companies, supporting a variety of disease, agricultural, environmental, and related applications.

BGI has a proven track record of excellence, delivering results with high efficiency and accuracy for innovative, high-profile research: research that has generated over 200 publications in top-tier journals such as Nature and Science. BGI's many accomplishments include: sequencing one percent of the human genome for the International Human Genome Project, contributing 10 percent to the International Human HapMap Project, carrying out research to combat SARS and German deadly E. coli, playing a key role in the Sino-British Chicken Genome Project, and completing the sequence of the rice genome, the silkworm genome, the first Asian diploid genome, the potato genome, and, more recently, have sequenced the human Gut Metagenome, and a significant proportion of the genomes for the 1000 Genomes Project.

For more information about BGI, please visit http://www.genomics.cn.

About Association

Association of Czech genetic centers was established in 2010 and their members cover the prenatal care in all Czech republic. Dedicated, high-caliber genetics experts join forces with reputable gynaecologists, embryologists and andrologists to achieve excellence. For more information please see http://www.aclg.cz

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