January 18, 2024

In May last year, an Uzbek-Chinese business forum was held in the Chinese city of Xi’an as part of the official visit of the President of the Republic of Uzbekistan to the PRC, which was attended by over 400 large Chinese enterprises interested in establishing partnerships with Uzbekistan. The Center for Advanced Technologies under the Ministry of Higher Education, Science and Innovation held negotiations with innovative companies operating in the field of biotechnology and pharmaceuticals and reached a number of agreements. In particular, an agreement was signed between the Center for Advanced Technologies and BGI Group, a world leader in human genome research in China.

Currently, the Uzbek-Chinese joint venture “Genscreen”, created within the framework of the above agreements, operates in our country. The company is currently implementing a pilot project for early screening of a number of genetic diseases in pregnant women and 48 diseases in infants.

BGI Group is a leading global genomics company. The company was originally founded in 1999 as a genetic research center for participation in the global Human Genome Project. Currently, BGI provides services for testing patients for various diseases, studying the genomes of animals, plants and microorganisms, as well as manufacturing equipment for DNA analysis.

BGI is not limited to investing in the Genscreen joint venture, but is also responsible for creating a laboratory base, transferring equipment, technology, training local specialists, as well as conducting scientific and educational conferences and seminars to improve the skills of medical workers.

The Genscreen company is a resident of the INNO technology park of the Ministry of Higher Education, Science and Innovation, the laboratory is located in the Center for Advanced Technologies. Currently, unique laboratory equipment and high-performance sequencers have been installed.

The first stage of the Uzbek-Chinese joint venture is the development and implementation of screening for genetic diseases in newborns and pregnant women. A pilot screening project was launched in the city of Tashkent and the Fergana Valley.

After the implementation of pilot projects, it is planned to cover the entire republic. The production capacity of the laboratory is designed to conduct more than 70,000 tests per month or more than 1 million tests for genetic diseases per year, which fully meets the needs of the Republic of Uzbekistan in this type of research.

Genscreen also conducts research into oncology screening for various types of cancer, whole genome sequencing to create a genetic passport, and whole exome sequencing to search for more than 4,000 different diseases.