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Google Moves Into Genomics with Latest Collaboration

Google partners with Wuxi NextCode to bring genomic sequencing to the cloud.

It looks like Google is at it again with its partnerships. This time the company is working with WuXi NextCode to enhance comprehensive genomics capabilities.

The partnership includes hosting WuXi NextCODE's core suite of capabilities on Google Cloud and its availability on the Google Cloud Launcher marketplace.

These include GORdb, WuXi NextCODE secondary analysis, the Sequence Miner case-control research application, and the Clinical Sequence Analyzer clinical interpretation system.

At the same time, key Google genomics and research tools will be integrated and deployable in tandem with the WuXi NextCODE platform, beginning with the DeepVariant secondary analysis pipeline, alongside other open-source analysis pipelines and tools available through Google Cloud Platform. The companies plan to launch the first phase of the offering – at the BioIT World Conference & Expo in Boston in May.

"WuXi NextCODE has been a pioneer of large-scale genomics, and we are thrilled to welcome them as a Google Cloud Partner," said Jonathan Sheffi, Product Manager, Genomics & Life Sciences at Google. "Our collaboration aims to create a powerful interoperable suite of capabilities to derive insight from sequence data."

Google and its various divisions are no strangers to partnerships in the healthcare industry. The collaborations span across a variety of different disease states. Here are some of the most notable.

In 2014, the company teamed up with Novartis to develop contacts that could help patients monitor insulin levels. Google’s Verily Lifesciences business partnered with San Diego-based Dexcom to develop miniature continuous glucose monitoring system.

Verily also formed a company called Verb Surgical with New Brunswick, NJ-based Johnson & Johnson. Verb aims to create a digital surgery platform that is accessible, easy to use and incorporates machine learning.

The company showed it wasn’t afraid to invest in collaborations either. In 2016, Verily put up nearly $750 million with GlaxoSmithKline, to develop bioelectronic medicines for chronic diseases.

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