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BGI Genomics, Intel, Lenovo Form COVID-19 Research Alliance

NEW YORK — BGI Genomics has partnered with computer technology firms Intel and Lenovo to support its research into the COVID-19 genome, the companies announced on Tuesday.

Through the alliance, Intel and Lenovo will provide BGI Genomics with computational and genomic analysis technologies — including a high-performance computing cluster to process reads from BGI's BGI DNBSeq-T7 sequencer — as well as technical expertise, to advance its studies into COVID-19 virulence, transmission patterns, and host-pathogen interactions.

This research will help BGI Genomics' efforts to optimize COVID-19 diagnostic kits and identify potential drug targets, the companies said.

"BGI Genomics has sequenced hundreds of clinical samples to analyze and distinguish the complications of the infection," BGI Genomics CIO Xiangqian Jin said in a statement. "Bioinformatics [work involving] genome alignment, genome assembly, annotation, and phylogenetic analysis of virus nucleic acid fragments is a high-density computing process, so sufficient high-performance computing is important to improve the efficiency of analysis.

"The equipment and technology [from Intel and Lenovo] will speed up the rapid identification of COVID-19 infected people and the study of virus genome characteristics, providing strong support for accurate diagnosis, treatment, and epidemic prevention of COVID-19," he added.

BGI Genomics is a subsidiary of Shenzhen, China-based BGI.