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Chinese Biotech Company Wants to Mine Data to Fight Deadly Diseases -- How Does it Work?

Feb 23, 2017 10:47 AM EST

China is becoming more aggressive in its intent to fight diseases. This move is part of the government's effort to dominate the global biotechnology industry, and even Chinese corporations are stepping up to the challenge.

Berry Genomics partnered with Qiming Venture Partners in a merger where the latter will be absorbed as a developer. This will hopefully lead to the creation of "precision medicine," which includes the customization of treatments through various tests and statistics. According to Bloomberg, precision medicine allows patients to undergo specific tests for their convience.

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Meanwhile, other corporations such as iCarbonX and WuXi Next Code are starting to create ways to allow patients to further understand their bodies by using conventional methods. For instance, there are developments on ongoing liquid biopsy tests, which can detect cancer in the blood.

iCarbonX is one of the biggest biotech companies in China. The company has openly expressed its intent to use artificial intelligence to gather data for medicinal study, Nature reports. By using AI, the company hopes to analyze healthcare and physiological data as well as various medical conditions of citizens more efficiently.

Apart from diseases, iCarbonix believes that sequencing data can also be used on lifestyle factors to determine disease risk and identify suitable therapies.

China's move to use big data gathering is a result of the its problems with genomics. Current studies only offer a "possibility" of getting a disease, but data gathering will hopefully foster deeper understanding of the genetic variables and interpret them more accurately.

Nature notes that China's recent step in precision medicine is part of its 13th five-year plan for dominance. Last year, the country has expressed its intent to become a "DNA superpower."

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