- BGI Group CEO, Dr. Yin Ye, spoke at the 10th Arab-China Business Conference in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, emphasizing the significance of making technological advancements accessible to all through scientific sharing.
- Dr. Yin stressed the importance of affordability, accessibility, and equity in keeping cutting-edge technologies available to a wide range of users.
- The COVID-19 pandemic highlighted the necessity of global cooperation and technology sharing to address critical health challenges effectively.
- BGI Group has been actively driving down technology costs through innovation, applying its learnings and solutions to tackle complex healthcare issues worldwide.
- The concept of ‘4P medicine’—Prediction, Precaution, Personalization, and Participation—is being facilitated by advancements in biotechnology, particularly the significant reduction in the cost of human genome sequencing.
- BGI’s contributions during the pandemic include the development and distribution of PCR kits for detecting the virus, the deployment of Huo-Yan laboratories for nucleic acid testing, and the advancement of Stereo-seq technology.
- BGI believes in the power of technology and information sharing for the greater benefit of mankind, enabling a better understanding of diseases and population traits.
Introduction: The Importance of Global Technology Sharing
Dr. Yin Ye, CEO of BGI Group, spoke on a panel at the 10th Arab-China Business Conference in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, emphasizing the significance of making technological advancements available to everyone through scientific sharing. He highlighted the importance of affordability, accessibility, and equity in ensuring that cutting-edge technologies reach a wide range of users.
The Lessons of the COVID-19 Pandemic
Dr. Yin stressed the importance of global collaboration and technology sharing, as exemplified during the COVID-19 pandemic. By sharing technology and information, the world was able to develop critical public health applications, vaccines, and in-vitro diagnostic (IVD) kits to effectively combat the virus. Dr. Yin emphasized that without such sharing, the virus would have posed an even greater threat to the world.
BGI Group’s Efforts and the Concept of ‘4P Medicine’
BGI Group, over the past two decades, has been dedicated to driving down the cost of technology through innovation. Their commitment to sharing solutions has enabled them to apply their knowledge and solutions to some of the world’s most challenging healthcare issues. Dr. Yin referred to this approach as ‘4P medicine,’ which encompasses Prediction, Precaution, Personalization, and Participation.
Significant reductions in the cost of sequencing a human genome—from $3.8 billion during the Human Genome Project to under $100 today—have made ‘4P medicine’ possible. This progress in biotechnology has paved the way for advancements in understanding diseases and population traits.
BGI’s Contributions during the COVID-19 Pandemic
During the COVID-19 pandemic, BGI drew upon its 20 years of research, scientific knowledge, and public health expertise to fight the infectious disease. BGI was among the first to develop PCR kits for detecting the virus, and these kits have received certifications and authorizations in 14 countries and regions. They have been distributed to over 180 countries, including donations through various foundations.
BGI also developed Huo-Yan laboratories, which are rapid-assembly, inflatable biosafety level 2 nucleic acid detection laboratories. More than 100 of these laboratories were deployed in over 30 countries, including five in Saudi Arabia. These efforts were supported by the deployment of 500 technicians and the collection of over 18 million samples.
Advancements in SpatioTemporal Omics and the Power of Sharing
BGI Group has been at the forefront of technology development, particularly with Stereo-seq, a powerful version that provides nanoscale resolution and a broad range of vision. This technology allows researchers to determine the type and location of cells in relation to one another, enabling insights into how cells interact over time. The SpatioTemporal Omics Consortium, consisting of more than 270 scientists from 35 countries, focuses on the wide application of spatiotemporal omics in life sciences.
BGI Group firmly believes that greater sharing of technology and information is essential for advancing medical knowledge and understanding diseases and population traits that may lead to diseases.
Conclusion: Technology Sharing for the Benefit of All
Dr. Yin Ye, CEO of BGI Group, advocates for global technology sharing, emphasizing its potential to benefit humanity. BGI’s efforts during the COVID-19 pandemic, along with advancements in biotechnology and the concept of ‘4P medicine,’ exemplify their commitment to making cutting-edge technologies accessible and driving innovation for the betterment of healthcare. BGI firmly believes in the power of technology and information sharing to foster a deeper understanding of diseases and population traits.