SHENZHEN, China, July 5, 2023 /PRNewswire/ — Speaking on a panel at the 10th Arab-China Business Conference in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, Dr Yin Ye, BGI Group CEO, reinforced the importance of making technological advancements available to everyone through scientific sharing to benefit humanity.
“We must keep cutting-edge technologies affordable, accessible, and equitable,” he said.
The COVID-19 pandemic demonstrated the importance of the world coming together to share technology and information to solve a critical health issue. “During the pandemic, if we did not share the technology, the public health applications, vaccines and IVD kits, then the virus would definitely occupy the world,” said Dr Yin.
This belief in sharing solutions so that more people can benefit has underpinned BGI Group’s efforts during the past two decades to drive down the cost of technology through innovation, while applying its learnings and solutions to some of the world’s most difficult healthcare issues.
This marks the development in what Dr Yin terms ‘4P medicine’. That is Prediction, Precaution, Personalization and Participation. None of this would be possible, however, without the tremendous strides that have taken place in biotechnology that have reduced the cost of sequencing a human genome from US$3.8 billion, the cost of the Human Genome Project, to under US$100 today.
During COVID-19, BGI drew upon all the research, scientific and public health knowledge accumulated over the previous 20 years, and worked closely alongside communities across the globe to fight the infectious disease.
BGI was among the first in the world to produce the PCR kits for detecting the virus. With certification and authorizations in 14 countries and regions, including emergency use listing by the World Health Organization, the PCR kits had been distributed to more than 180 countries, including multiple donations through various foundations.
BGI also developed Huo-Yan laboratories, the rapid-assembly, inflatable biosafety level 2 nucleic acid detection laboratories. One hundred of these laboratories were deployed in more than 30 countries globally, including in Saudi Arabia where Dr Yin noted that five Huo-Yan laboratories had been built, 500 technicians had been deployed to help and more than 18 million samples taken.
BGI Group has been a leader in the technology development of which the latest, most powerful version, Stereo-seq, provides a nanoscale resolution with a broad range of vision, and is able to determine the type and location of cells relative to one another to be able to see how they interact with each other over time. The technology has attracted global scientific attention. More than 270 scientists from 35 countries have formed the SpatioTemporal Omics Consortium to focus on the wide application of spatiotemporal omics in life sciences.
BGI Group strongly believes that mankind can only benefit through greater sharing of technology and information as this can help doctors understand diseases and population traits that may result in diseases.
The power of omics belongs with everyone and should be widely shared.