Clearbridge BioMedics partners with BGI to develop the CTC liquid biopsy market in China


BGI, the world’s largest omics organization, has signed a partnership agreement with Singapore-based oncology research and diagnostics company Clearbridge BioMedics (CBB). This aims to develop the CTC (circulating tumor cell) liquid biopsy market in China, including Mainland China, HongKong and Macao. BGI will work together with CBB to solely distribute and market the ClearCell® FX1 solution and related products in China, extend this technology into clinical and cutting-edge research applications, and develop clinical products.

Clear Cell FX system Credit: CBB

The ClearCell® technology is a label-free, automated system that is able to isolate and enrich intact, viable rare cells from a patient’s blood sample. This joint collaboration aims to develop an integrated CTC liquid biopsy solution by leveraging BGI’s strengths from genomics to trans-omics and CBB’s expertise in rare cell separation, in order to provide more actionable clinical insights through a simple blood draw. BGI is establishing a dedicated team to ensure this trans-omics science and technology is successfully translated into precision medicine. This team will provide an innovative end-to-end solution for omics analysis or genetic profiling at the single cell level from extremely rare cells in clinical samples.

The collaborative research agreement focuses on major types of cancer in China, such as lung, breast, and liver. BGI and CBB will collaborate to drive clinical adoption by working with key opinion leaders in leading hospitals in order to expand the CTC technology and genomic applications. Possible applications include cancer-related targeted gene analysis, drug-related gene analysis, single cell analysis and cancer immunotherapy.

“We believe that liquid biopsy plays a key role in clinical diagnostics and personalized medicine and can potentially even aid in immunotherapy PD-L1 treatment management. BGI is a global leader in the genomics and precision medicine space, and this collaboration supports our efforts to bring our ClearCell® FX1 System into the China research and clinical markets. We are convinced their strong network, track record and excellent capabilities complement our execution and align with our strategic vision for China,” said Mr Johnson Chen, Chairman and Founder of Clearbridge BioMedics.

“BGI’s goal is to make state-of-the-art genomics highly accessible to the global research community and clinical markets by integrating an array of leading technologies. This includes BGISEQ series sequencers for genomics, economies of scale for sample storage and bioinformatics for IT and computing resources. Liquid biopsy, a critical cancer sample format which enables access to extremely rare cells such as CTC, will enable us to study cancer genome and diseases at the single cell level. Having worked closely with Clearbridge BioMedics for the last few years, we are very confident that the combination of their rare cell enrichment technology with BGI’s genomic and trans-omics technology, and our strong collaboration networks including joint labs in top hospitals and global alliances based on BGISEQ sequencers, will result in better cancer management. We hope to accelerate the adoption of precision medicine in China, to better serve the needs of patients,” said Dr. Xun Xu, Executive Vice President of BGI and Director of BGI Research.