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Berry Oncology, Alibaba Health Partner to Offer Early Cancer Screening, Health Services

NEW YORK — Berry Oncology said on Monday that it has partnered with Alibaba Health, a division of Chinese technology firm Alibaba Group, to develop an early cancer screening and healthcare platform.

As part of the deal, the companies will offer Berry Oncology's Lai Si Ning next-generation sequencing-based liver cancer screening test to people at high risk for the disease. According to Beijing-based Berry Oncology, a subsidiary of Berry Genomics, the test recently demonstrated a sensitivity of 95.4 percent and a specificity of 97.8 percent in a clinical study of patients with liver cancer and liver cirrhosis.

The technology underlying the test, which is available for sale directly from Alibaba's e-commerce platform Taobao, is being evaluated in other cancers and will be a core aspect of the companies' platform, Berry Oncology said.

Through their alliance, the firms are also offering medical insurance and cancer screening consultancy to patients with liver disease through Taobao.

Additional terms of the deal were not disclosed.

"This partnership is an extensive exploration of health protection services, based on Alibaba Health's comprehensive medical service capabilities and Berry Oncology's highly specialized genome detection technologies and large-scale clinical research," Alibaba Health VP Chen Bo said in a statement. "We will use technological innovation to design new health management solutions to combat more diseases."

About a year ago, Berry Genomics signed an agreement to help Personalis expand into China.