Mayo Clinic announced separate business agreements in two corners of the world on Jan. 8 and 9 to help commercialize and develop novel diagnostics in China and to integrate whole-genome sequencing in its clinical setting for healthy patients.
In the first agreement, Mayo Medical Laboratories has entered a joint venture to provide a variety of tests it has developed in-house to global biorpharmaceutical company WuXi AppTec which will offer the tests to healthcare providers in China. According to William Morice, II, M.D., Ph.D., president of Mayo Medical Laboratories and chair of laboratory medicine and pathology at Mayo Clinic, the venture will not only expand the use of its testing in the Chinese market but should also help further its own diagnostics research and development efforts.
Wuxi AppTec company officials said its work with Mayo Clinic will help it build a comprehensive clinical diagnostics service across China that also has the potential to benefit its collaborators worldwide.
"We are excited to work with Mayo Clinic to bring a highly innovative, world-class diagnostics testing portfolio to China," Jason Liu, Ph.D., senior vice president of WuXi AppTec Group, and chief operating officer of the company's laboratory testing division, said in a prepared statement. "This collaboration is a great fit with our mission to bring the best testing solutions from research to clinical practice. As one of the most highly regarded medical institutions in the world, Mayo Clinic will help transform China's diagnostic landscape, improve the quality of patient care, and accelerate precision medicine in China."
May Medical Laboratories is the testing and pathology services arm of Mayo Clinic that provides services to more than 4,000 healthcare organizations around the world. It’s diagnostic test development program launches more than 100 new tests each year.
Closer to home, Mayo Clinic announded it will collaborate with Veritas Genetics to make whole-genome sequencing available to healthy patients leveraging Veritas’ MeGenome offering.
The collaboration will be led by Mayo’s Center for Individualized Medicine Medical Director Keith Stewart. Mayo will offer MyGenome to its patients who qualify for a study it is conducting of healthy adults.
According to Veritas, the company will benefit from its relationship with Mayo by gaining access to the Clinic’s medical and clinical expertise which it can, in turn, integrate with MyGenome. As part of the collaboration, Mayo will make an undisclosed investment in Veritas.
“The Center for Individualized Medicine at Mayo Clinic is the gold standard in personalized medicine and we are proud and honored to collaborate with such a professional and dedicated team. This is a great step to further realize the promise of the human genome,” said Mirza Cifric, founder and CEO Veritas Genetics, in a press release.
For Veritas, the relationship with one of the preeminent healthcare organizations and medical research center in the world, helps it further its goal of putting a complete picture of an individual’s genetic make-up in their control and at their fingertips to allow them to make proactive health decisions. It’s MyGenome service offers whole-genome sequencing direct to individuals or via their physicians and provides a report detailing any clinically relevant genetic information related to more than 1,200 health conditions, along with suggested lifestyle changes; carrier status for genetic coditions; and a pharmacogenomics report that details genetics-based drug sensitivities.
As Cifric noted in a blog post on the company website spelling out the company’s ethos: “The genome is now an asset like we’ve never experienced before: a 100% personalized source of information that you can and will go back to throughout your life to answer questions that, right now, we have yet to even think about.
Starting today, we can stop guessing about our health, our bodies, our nutrition, and many other things that today seem like a black medical box. Of course, this future does not all hinge on the genome. It will come from people rethinking the potential of their lifestyle and health decisions and changing the conversation with their doctors from reactive to proactive.”