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BGI, Merck Agree to Explore Areas of Interest in Next-gen Sequencing

By a GenomeWeb staff reporter

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb News) – BGI today announced that it has signed a statement of intent with drug giant Merck to explore areas of mutual interest with the goal of "creating value" from the high volume of information resulting from next-generation sequencing technologies.

In a statement, Peter Kim, president of Merck Research Laboratories, said the statement of intent is the first step toward bringing together his firm's expertise in pharmaceutical development "with the powerful sequencing and bioinformatics capabilities of BGI."

The deal creates principles of cooperation for the partners in order to develop separate master agreements and projects, and includes establishing mutual offices near each other in the US and in China "to enable closer collaboration between scientists from both companies."

The partners intend to build an infrastructure that will support collaboration in areas such as biomarkers, target validation, and drug de-risking and development.

Three weeks ago, BGI and the University of Copenhagen signed an agreement to cooperate together on genetic research into cancer, obesity, and type 2 diabetes.

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