Prof. Vu Ha Van, Scientific Director of Vingroup Big Data Institute
Vingroup Big Data Institute (a member of Vingroup), on December 18, 2020, announced its partnership with 10 leading research organisations around the world in the field of precision medicine, aiming to promote precision medicine research and application in the diagnosis and treatment of cardiovascular disease, cancer and diabetes. At the same time, the group officially launched the largest biomedical data analysis and management system in Viet Nam.
Ten new international partners signing partnership agreements with VinBigData are all leaders in the fields of Medicine, Molecular Biology, Computer Science and Bioinformatics. They include the Center for Data and Computing - University of Chicago (USA); Cancer Research Laboratories - MD Anderson Cancer Center (USA); NIH-funded UCSF Mass Spectrometry Facility, University of California (San Diego, USA); McArdle Laboratory for Cancer Research, University of Wisconsin (Madison, USA); UPMC's Molecular Genomic Pathology Laboratory, UPMC Hillman Cancer Center, University of Pittsburgh (USA); Department of Medical Epidemiology and Biostatistics, Karolinska Institute (Sweden); Biomedical Data Science Lab, Victoria University of Wellington (New Zealand); GenomeAsia 100k - Asia's leading research organisation on genome; Lee Kong Chian School of Medicine, Nanyang Technological University (Singapore); Center for Medical Genomics, Mahidol University (Thailand).
Previously, VinBigdata signed partnership agreements with five international partners and six domestic partners, making a total of 21 partners. The partnership will be implemented comprehensively in all three aspects of precision medicine, namely research, academic exchange and training, aiming to find the correct treatment regimen, ensure effective treatment and optimise costs for common diseases such as cardiovascular disease, cancer, diabetes and prevent the risk of antibiotic resistance.
Specifically, VinBigdata and partners will jointly carry out research, exchange of lecturers, scientists, graduate students, resources and scientific works in addition to co-organising workshops and sharing knowledge, etc. VinBigdata hopes to build a global knowledge research network, serving as a bridge between Vietnamese scientists and leading experts in the world in the field of Biomedical Engineering through its comprehensive partnership. In particular, VinBigdata and international partners will coordinate to implement projects on developing reference genomes for Vietnamese people, develop a large-scale genetic data analysis management system, conduct research on solutions to predict disease risks and drug responses based on genomes in addition to research on genetic characteristics of Vietnamese populations, etc., to speed up the application of new solutions towards precision medicine in Viet Nam.
Prof. Vu Ha Van, Scientific Director of Vingroup Big Data Institute, said at the event that: “Vingroup hopes our collaboration with leading international partners and taking advantage of global technological breakthroughs will promote research and development projects for practical benefits to Vietnamese people. This is particularly significant as precision medicine studies using big data are a new field in Viet Nam with a lack of experienced specialists.”
Assistant Professor Michael Winther, Lee Kong Chian School of Medicine, Nanyang Technological University (Singapore), said on behalf of international partners at the event that: “Southeast Asian populations are not frequently mentioned in large, publicly available databases. This gap should be filled through national initiatives such as the project to sequence 1,000 Vietnamese genomes initiated by VinBigdata. This partnership is essential for the advancement of genetic medicine in the region, because only by understanding the common and unique characteristics of each population can we fully exploit the potential of genetic medicine.”
Also at the event, VinBigdata officially launched the largest Biomedical Data Analysis and Management System in Viet Nam (https://genome.vinbigdata.org). Developed from June 2019, the system currently stores more than 1,200 Terabytes of data and nearly 5,000 biological samples related to the project to sequence 1,000 Vietnamese genomes and other application projects according to the standards set by the National Institutes of Health (NIH). The design of the system ensures information security in compliance with the General Data Protection Regulation (EU GDPR).
The system is expected to update data sets from applied research projects on disease risks and drug side effects by VinBigdata by the end of 2021, enabling easy search for research purposes by scientific research community. The system can store and process hundreds of Petabytes of data and analyse the whole genome in less than 30 minutes, facilitating easy access, search, and data analysis and sharing for optimal research time. In the future, the project will become a valuable and reliable reference portal for the Vietnamese people and the world biomedical research community.
Vingroup is aiming to become a leading Technology Group in the region within the next 10 years enabled by the group’s pioneering and methodical partnership with leading partners in the world in addition to serious and strong investment./.