Congenica has continued to embrace their global mantle as they presented at a leading Chinese personalized medicine conference, which also hosted the renowned Leroy Hood of the Institute for Systems Biology and the P4 Medicine Institute. The event was attended by hundreds of prominent Chinese geneticists, clinicians and scientists gathered for the 4P Health Summit in the southern city of Tonglu, Zhejiang on Nov 14th, 2017.
Dr. Bai Shizhong, President of the China Health Promotion Foundation and Dr. Zhang Shibin, Chairman of the Chinese Health Management Association Steering Committee performed the opening ceremony highlighting the growing evidence of how genetics is playing an ever increasing role in wellness and diagnosing diseases.
Personalized medicine has been growing in eminence in China as the country modernizes its vast healthcare system. Combined with the declining cost of sequencing a human genome and a greater understanding of genetic basis of diseases, the country’s scientists are driven to bring together the best minds, technologies and ideas in the field of genomics.
Congenica’s expertise in diagnosing inherited diseases by analyzing patient derived genomic data was highlighted at this forum. The company’s Chief Business Officer, Dr Shikha O’Brien, presented the ground-breaking work being done by the U.K. based company utilizing their gold standard clinical genomics analysis platform, Sapientia. Dr. O’Brien spoke about the prevalence of rare diseases around the world and the sheer scale of sufferers in China – estimated to be at least 16 million people. She then went on to show how Congenica’s clinical expertise in rare diseases combined with the interpretation technology platform can empower China’s genetic experts and hospitals to truly make an impact on the country’s healthcare.
Dr. O’Brien, said: “We are delighted to be part of this thought leadership in China and presenting at this conference. This is an opportunity for us as a community to realize the benefits of fast moving technologies in genomics. Accurate and fast interpretation of genomic data remains a bottleneck and Congenica’s technology is addressing that gap with demonstrated success across a wide variety of applications in diagnoses of rare disease.”
Dr O’Brien presented several examples where Sapientia platform was critical in a fast turnaround with clinically actionable reports in rare disease pediatric patients for whom fast and accurate diagnosis is key. She provided additional examples where the Sapientia platform is being used in diagnostics and pharmaceutical drug discovery as well as clinical trials design using genetics based risk factors in patient cohorts.
The conference also saw a number of presentations from members of the Chinese Academy of Sciences’ Hundred Talents Project, for which Dr. Hood was a researcher earlier in his career. The project describes itself as; ‘the backbone program for attracting and training academic and technological leaders’ both from domestic graduates and those attracted back from overseas, by offering benefits and preferential treatment in their professional and private lives.
Tonglu has seen a high level of investment in recent years, culminating with the construction of the Kona Tai 4P Medical Health Industry Park amongst a number of other high profile projects. Zhu Hua, Secretary of the County Party Committee, said: “Tonglu is a new talent city with a bright future. With the concept of talent as the first resource, science and technology as the first productive force, and innovation as the first driving force, we will create the best talent ecology.”
A number of awards were also presented at the conference to outstanding Chinese scientists and entrepreneurs in healthcare and its associated fields.