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BGI Americas, AiLife Team on Clinical WGS Diagnostic Test

NEW YORK – Clinical molecular diagnostic and bioinformatics startup AiLife Diagnostics is partnering with BGI Americas to develop a clinical whole-genome sequencing test to diagnose genetic disorders, the companies said today.

The partners will combine BGI's DNBseq next-generation sequencing technology with AiLife's A-GPS, I-GPS, and D-GPS pipelines for NGS analysis, interpretation, and reporting.

BGI Americas, the Cambridge, Massachusetts-based US subsidiary of China's BGI Genomics, offers the WGS assay for $600, about the same cost as other tests that only cover exomes.

"This collaboration combines BGI's expertise in high-throughput sequencing technologies and platforms and AiLife's expertise in clinical interpretation and research analysis of NGS data," Yaping Yang, CEO and founder of Houston-based AiLife Diagnostics, said in a statement.

"The joint offering broadens the utilization of our DNBseq platforms," said BGI Americas General Manager Charles Bao, adding That the partnership "aligns with BGI's vision to bring WGS into routine clinical practice and to institute a new era of precision medicine for clinical genetic diagnostics."

The companies are now conducting a validation study in their own laboratories, a process they hope to wrap up by June. Their plan is to launch the new test at the American Society of Human Genetics annual meeting in October.