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Dr. Yiwu He Presents at the CBA 22nd Annual Conference

Dr. Yiwu He presents at the 22nd CBA Annual Conference

Dr. Yiwu He, BGI SVP of Global Business and CEO of BGI Groups USA, participated in the 22nd Chinese Biopharmaceutical Association (CBA) Annual Conference June 24 in Maryland. This was the first appearance BGI has made at the conference, hosted by one of the largest and most successful Chinese professional associations in the United States. Dr. He outlined BGI’s vision and some upcoming projects in his presentation “Sequencing Seattle: Solve Population Health Challenges with Precision Medicine.” He explored how to transform Seattle into a national biotech and IT hub by creating personalized information about risk factors and prevention for a whole city population through their genome. Creating this reservoir of omics data will provide a strong foundation for scientific research and will result in better diagnostics, treatments, devices, and reduced healthcare cost in the long term. In addition to Dr. He’s presentation, several other prominent members of the biopharmaceutical industry participated, including Dr. Craig Venter, co-founder and executive chairman of Human Longevity, a company that is also focused on providing gene sequencing services and building the world's largest database of sequenced genomes. Venter spoke about recent changes in genomic research and possibilities for the future. Although the work Human Longevity and BGI does is very similar, there is a big difference in the price. Human Longevity offers a full-day assessment that can cost anywhere from $4,900 to $25,000. On the other hand, BGI plans to offer whole genome sequencing for as low as $600, a far more affordable option when compared to Human Longevity. This highlights a fundamental difference in orientation that allows the two companies to work towards the same goals while targeting different segments of customers. For BGI, Dr. He noted, “achievements in effective and healthy medicine should be affordable for everyone.”