In Ireland, WuXi NextCODE Embarks on Unprecedented Effort to Enable Precision Medicine at National Scale, with Global Impact

Tuesday, November 27, 2018 General News
Email Print This Page Comment bookmark
Font : A-A+

Landmark investment aims to create the world's premier dataset for transforming drug discovery and delivering meaningful clinical benefits to all patients – nationally and then world


  • Centerpiece of this effort is the acquisition of Genomics Medicine Ireland (GMI) as WXNC's Irish subsidiary, part of $400m in Ireland precision
    medicine investments announced today
  • GMI engaged with leading national hospitals and healthcare organizations to enroll 400,000 people and create an unrivalled whole genome sequence, medical and health dataset that can be directly queried using WuXi NextCODE's integrated informatics and AI
  • Ireland's relative genetic homogeneity and high-quality universal healthcare make it a uniquely powerful place for identifying drug targets, conducting stratified clinical trials
  • Common disease and oncology risk models and diagnostics can be developed and rolled out in the national health system – benefiting Irish patients and then people around the world

SHANGHAI, CAMBRIDGE, Mass., DUBLIN and REYKJAVIK, Iceland, Nov. 27, 2018 /PRNewswire/ -- WuXi NextCODE, the emerging global standard platform for genomics, today outlined its ambition to create in Ireland the world's premier dataset for genome-driven drug discovery and the leading model for delivering the benefits of precision medicine to patients across an entire country. Leading that effort will be its long time partner Genomics Medicine Ireland (GMI), which has become the company's Irish subsidiary and hub of its European business. The GMI acquisition forms part of a $400 million investment programme in precision medicine unveiled in Dublin today by WuXi NextCODE and a consortium of Irish and international sovereign and technology investors, and which positions Ireland to play a leading role in the global innovation of genome-driven drug discovery and diagnostics.

GMI aims to enroll some 10% of the Irish population to have the entire sequence of their genome read and to contribute detailed medical and health data, particularly on diseases that they suffer from and for which there is a need for better treatment. The depth of this data, combined with Ireland's relative genetic homogeneity, will create truly unique opportunities for pharmaceutical and biotech companies to discover and develop new medicine in Ireland:

  • Partnering with pharmaceutical companies for the identification of new drug targets, leveraging powered discovery cohorts with whole-genome sequence and deep phenotype data;
  • Stratification of responders and non-responders from the design of clinical trials;
  • Comprehensive risk and prevention models and screens for common diseases and cancer;
  • Development of companion diagnostics;
  • Population-wide understanding of and diagnostics for rare diseases;
  • All backed by massive throughput, compliant sequencing from GMI's Dublin lab, and WuXi NextCODE's GOR analytics and range of international partners.

As this effort will be developed in tandem with the healthcare system, Irish patients will be able to benefit directly from risk screening and diagnostic tests as they are developed, and will be able to participate in clinical trials for new treatments developed in Ireland. 

"Our mission is to improve lives through genomics, and through this effort and others around the globe we are building an unrivaled resource for delivering on that mission," said Rob Brainin, CEO of WuXi NextCODE. "We are responding to a challenge from pharmaceutical companies, healthcare systems and patients around the world: to turn the advances in genomics we all hear about into better health and medicine faster, and for everyone; and then to bring that information to help people get differentiated clinical care based on their own personal biology. That vision requires high-quality population-scale data and the resources and know-how to generate and use it; a relationship with forward-thinking and supportive public and healthcare institutions; and a data platform that enables integration into clinical care. Between WuXi NextCODE, GMI, and the citizens, doctors, scientists and institutions of Ireland I believe we have a truly unique collection of will, talent and resources to pioneer the realization of precision medicine."

"I am thrilled to be joining GMI and to take part in seizing the opportunity for Ireland to lead in one of the most innovative areas in global healthcare," said Anne Jones, CEO of GMI. "We have a long tradition of manufacturing drugs in Ireland, but today we will move into the discovery and development of cutting edge medicine right here. We have an incredible opportunity to advance our own healthcare and economy and create a new model of medicine that can benefit patients and improve health all over the world. I am also personally excited that this study will enable the advancement of treatments for not just common diseases but also of those rare and often as yet diagnosed diseases where today there is often little optimism. This is the big opportunity of having a powerful national genome project with global resources and connections. I look forward to working with patients and doctors all over the country to build this effort into a great success for Ireland and a model for others."

About Genomics Medicine Ireland

Founded in 2015, Genomics Medicine Ireland (GMI) is an Irish life-sciences pioneering population-based genomics in the country, leading a number of research studies across the island examining the relationship between genetics, health and disease spanning a spectrum of disease areas. WuXi NextCODE's investment in GMI will see the company undertaking the world's largest whole genome sequencing programme, targeting the participation of one of every ten people in Ireland.  This will help to deliver healthcare benefits to Irish patients and create a unique platform for research and discovery of new precision medicines for the treatment of life-limiting conditions which currently have no cure.

GMI is currently undertaking genomic research into a range of diseases such as: Multiple Sclerosis, Alzheimer's disease, brain tumours, Inflammatory Bowel Disease, Ankylosing Spondylitis, Rare Diseases, and the GenoFit study with UCD Institute for Sport and Health examining the relationship between genetics and fitness. The company also operates Ireland's largest genomics laboratory which conducts state-of-art sequencing and sample processing.  

Since its founding, GMI has engaged third-party review of its privacy and data protection protocols, and employs both leading-edge technology and external audits to ensure strict compliance with EU GDPR regulations and standards.

About WuXiNextCODE

WuXiNextCODE is an integrated global life sciences informatics company building the global standard platform for genomic data. With offices in Shanghai; Kendall Square in Cambridge, Massachusetts; Reykjavik, Iceland; and Dublin, we serve the leading population genomics, precision medicine, diagnostics and wellness initiatives and enterprises using the genome to improve health around the world. Our capabilities span study design, sequencing, secondary analysis, storage, interpretation, scalable analytics, and AI and deep learning – all backed by the most proven and widely used technology for organizing, mining and sharing genome sequence data. Visit us on the web at

Cision View original content:


Post your Comments

Comments should be on the topic and should not be abusive. The editorial team reserves the right to review and moderate the comments posted on the site.
* Your comment can be maximum of 2500 characters
I agree to the terms and conditions

News A - Z


News Search

Medindia Newsletters

Subscribe to our Free Newsletters!

Terms & Conditions and Privacy Policy.

Find a Doctor

Press Release Category

Press Release Archive

Stay Connected

  • Available on the Android Market
  • Available on the App Store