On 6th September 2022, the Azerbaijan Thalassemia Center and BGI held a virtual signing ceremony to seal a Collaboration Agreement. The partnership aims to improve thalassemia screening in Azerbaijan through genetic technology.
In early 2021, in occasion of the "Prevention and Control of Global Haemoglobinopathies" announcement, BGI Poverty Prevention and Control Panel clearly stated they seek to export China's advanced technologies for thalassemia to 'Belt and Road Initiative' countries, to jointly achieve comprehensive thalassemia control in the global community.
In April 2022, BGI's wholly-owned subsidiary, Huada Biotechnology (Wuhan) Co., Ltd, obtained the medical device registration certificate from the National Drug Administration for its alpha and beta thalassemia gene detection kit (combining probe anchored polymerization sequencing method).
This agreement was signed by Dr. Valeh Hüseynov, the Executive Director of National Hematology and Transfusiology Center, Dr. Agha Rza Aghayev, the supervisor of Azerbaijan's medical genetics department, and Mr. Jeremy Cao, the Vice President of BGI IntDx. The two organizations have entered a strategic partnership and will work together for a thalassemia study research project in the country.
Dr Agha Rza Aghayev, Azerbaijan's medical genetics department supervisor, had the following to say: "Thank you BGI for support and collaboration, I hope this research program will help us to build an effective and well-designed method for screening Thalassemia."
Azerbaijan is one of the countries with the highest prevalence rate of thalassemia. Our thalassemia gene detection testing combines cutting-edge high throughput sequencing platform and advantages of low cost and comprehensive detection. It helps scientific research partnership in methodology comparison, enhances new technology collaboration in the clinical testing and explore the screening of thalassemia in Azerbaijan. BGI also has a world hemoglobinopathy foundation focusing on fighting thalassemia worldwide, our goal is making the world a better place without this disease. BGI therefore proposes this agreement to reaffirm that we stand together with Azerbaijan's thalassemia center and its people."
Zhiyu Peng, BGI Genomics vice president
Mr Jeremy Cao, the Vice President of BGI IntDx, said at the signing ceremony, "This is one of our pioneer overseas thalassemia projects and such agreement commits us to work together more closely towards common goals, the pursuit of screening and control of thalassemia, and the vision that in a not too distant future there will be a world without this disease. I would like to say I am confident that through our efforts and commitment, we will be able to achieve more and to continue to develop even stronger relationships and friendships between the people of Azerbaijan and BGI."
Thalassemia, an inherited blood disorder, caused by the insufficient production of hemoglobin in the red blood cells that deliver oxygen and nutrients to all parts of the body. People with thalassemia have much less hemoglobin than normal people and usually suffer from mild to severe anemia.
The Azerbaijan Thalassemia Center is the main leading public medical institutions fighting thalassemia in the region. This Center not only provides service for patients who suffer from this disease but also for people with other genetic conditions. The country also offers a foundation providing medical services to foreign citizens at this Center.