March of Dimes Birth Defects Foundation of China and Illumina, Inc. signed an agreement for a cooperative project known as the Birth Defects Detection, Intervention and Aid. Under this agreement, the March of Dimes Birth Defects Foundation of China and Illumina will cooperate to develop guidelines on genomic test procedures relating to birth defect patient enrollment, sample collection, data analysis and interpretation. The parties will also engage in competency construction by training doctors early in their careers.
The Birth Defects Detection, Intervention and Aid project has been established in response to the Healthy China 2030 Planning Outline, which plans to strengthen the prevention and treatment of genetic disease. Birth defects affect a child’s quality of life and place a heavy burden on their families. The Healthy China 2030 Planning Outline also aims to promote the treatment of patients with genetic diseases, build the healthcare options and improve children’s health in the country.
“This cooperation will support China’s birth defect efforts and help families who are dealing with these difficult situations,” said Mr. Jiang Zhenghua, President of the March of Dimes Birth Defects Foundation of China. “The care for birth defects in China calls for the collective efforts from government, medical institutions, research institutes and enterprises like Illumina.”
By leveraging Illumina’s advanced whole genome sequencing (WGS) solutions, the project will establish a national clinical database of birth defects and develop industry standards for diagnosis of congenital structural malformations and genetic metabolic diseases. The project aims to complete genetic detections for more than 100,000 children with congenital structural malformations and genetic metabolic diseases.
Through continuous innovation, Illumina’s highly accurate WGS technology has enabled governments around the world to help improve human health.
“Genetic diseases, including rare conditions, are common challenges confronting governments globally,” said Francis deSouza, President and CEO of Illumina. “Diagnosing newborn babies with unexplained diseases earlier can make a meaningful improvement to their lives.”