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BGI Opens New US Office in Seattle

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb) – BGI said yesterday that it has formed a new division, BGI Groups USA, in Seattle, to expand its international footprint.

The company, which is headquartered in Shenzhen, China, said that the new division will enable it to expand partnerships with universities, companies, and health and agriculture-related organizations; and support communications and branding, product development, and investment.

BGI has offices in China, Japan, Denmark, Australia, and the US and has established more than 40 labs or joint labs around the world, including BGI Americas, which it founded in 2010 in Cambridge, Massachusetts.

"BGI's commitment to North America, particularly the Seattle region, recognizes the strong ecosystem of biotechnology and health groups working at the forefront of medicine," Yiwu He, CEO of BGI Groups USA and BGI's global head of research and development, said in a statement. "The new office will help us connect those resources with BGI's international capabilities and scale to accelerate global innovation for human health."

BGI already has multiple partnerships with research institutes in the Seattle area, including University of Washington Medicine, to collaborate on precision medicine and accelerate the application of new sequencing technologies developed by BGI to human health.

The company is also working with five health and research organizations in British Columbia to bring together advanced technologies and individualized therapy for cancer and other diseases. The partnership, between BGI, Providence Health Care, St. Paul's Foundation, Vancouver Prostate Centre, Genome British Columbia, and Deloitte, focuses on applying next-generation sequencing technologies and big data to accelerate personalized medicine and improve outcomes for patients.

BGI acquired Complete Genomics, a Mountain View, California-based sequencing technology company, in 2013, providing it with the underlying technology to launch its high-throughput next-generation sequencers BGISEQ-500 and BGISEQ-50 in 2015 and 2016, respectively.