Sunday, 26 May 2019

Natera and BGI Genomics announce $50M partnership

12 March 2019 | News

The Natera Signatera MRD and molecular monitoring test will be offered in China

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Natera, Inc. , a leader in cell-free DNA genetic testing, and BGI Genomics Co., Ltd.,  the largest cell-free DNA clinical testing laboratory in China have announced a $50 million partnership to commercialize Natera's Signatera™ MRD test in China, and to develop reproductive health tests in select markets on BGI's sequencing instruments using the DNBseq™ NGS technology platform.

The Natera Signatera MRD and molecular monitoring test will be offered in China, first through specialty hospital networks and then more broadly, once Natera and BGI Genomics gain China's regulatory approval for use of the Signatera test on the DNBseq™ technology platform. DNBseq™ is the market name of BGI's proprietary sequencing technology, which supports its portfolio of next-generation sequencing platforms. BGI Genomics' genetic testing leadership position in China, where it performs over 1 million cell-free DNA tests annually, will accelerate Natera's entry into this large and growing oncology market.

Cancer is the leading cause of death in China with roughly 4.3 million new cancer cases and 2.8 million deaths reported annually. The molecular diagnostics market in China is a rapidly growing multi-billion-dollar market, driven largely by the rising incidence of cancer and infectious diseases.3

Yin Ye, CEO at BGI Genomics said, "Natera shares our core vision of improving human health by offering innovative genetic testing solutions that allow for earlier and more effective diagnosis of disease. Natera's decision to launch its Signatera test into China on BGI's DNBseq™ technology platform is a testament to both the quality and versatility of our technology. We look forward to working together with Natera for the general benefit of people worldwide and to expanding access to the DNBseq™ technology platform to other customers globally."

Steve Chapman, CEO at Natera said, "We are very impressed with BGI's pace of innovation, its people, and its scale of operations in China. BGI is a recognized world leader in next-generation sequencing and, we believe, the most qualified laboratory partner for us in China. This deal continues Natera's commercialization success in oncology, augmenting over 30 pharmaceutical trials currently underway, and is a strong endorsement of Natera's leading technology in oncology and reproductive health."

John Fesko, Sr. Vice President of Business Development at Natera said, "We are excited for the opportunity to partner with an innovative leader like BGI to commercialize Signatera in Chinaand expand the reach of Natera's reproductive health technology in select markets, and we believe BGI has the capability to substantially reduce costs for offering our technology. This deal complements our strategic partnerships with existing sequencing providers and does not alter our plans with them. This exciting alliance is key to our vision of being the application layer for genetic testing worldwide."

Under the 10-year agreement, BGI Genomics will pay Natera $50 million in upfront licensing fees, prepaid royalties, and future milestone payments. Natera will also receive ongoing royalty payments. Natera will prepay BGI Genomics $6 million for sequencing services in connection with this partnership. 



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