BGI Statement in Response to Reuters Report

BGI is aware of reports in Reuters regarding our non-invasive prenatal test (NIPT test) – NIFTY (Non-Invasive Fetal TrisomY).

BGI’s NIPT tests have been used around the world to identify genetic conditions in pregnancy. These tests provide doctors with the scientific basis to assist millions of pregnant women, leading to better health outcomes and, in some cases, saved lives.

The research that BGI has undertaken collaboratively with some of the world’s leading academic and scientific institutions has led to major medical breakthroughs that will benefit the world for many decades to come.

As a leader in life science and gene technology, BGI is committed to improving health outcomes worldwide. That is and always has been our mission. Assertions that BGI is motivated by anything other than the advancement of health outcomes are both deeply disappointing and factually incorrect.

These are the facts:

  • BGI has never been asked to provide, nor has it provided data from its NIFTY test to Chinese authorities for national security or national defense security purposes.
  • Contrary to the report by Reuters, DNA data collected from prenatal tests on women outside China are not stored in China’s gene bank. All NIPT data collected overseas are stored in BGI’s laboratory in Hong Kong and are destroyed after five years, as stipulated by General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR).
  • Contrary to assertions by Reuters, BGI’s NIPT test was developed solely by BGI – not in partnership with China’s military.
  • At no stage throughout the testing or research process does BGI have access to any identifiable personal data or the ability to match that data with personal records.
  • Wherever BGI undertakes research, we strictly comply with local laws, guidelines, and protocols, while adhering to internationally recognized ethical standards.
  • The data privacy standards BGI applies to its research meet strict national and international requirements, including the GDPR in the European Union.
  • BGI collaborates with many academic and research organizations not just in China, but also with many of the world’s most renowned institutions in the US, UK, and Europe. These collaborations have led to significant advances in medical science that improve population health outcomes around the world.

BGI is a global organization driven by innovation, focused on precision medical research, and a desire to curb the harm of major diseases on humans worldwide.

Since its foundation in 1999, BGI has maintained a consistent track record of applying the strictest ethical standards and protection of data privacy and security. We established the Institute of Review Board of Bioethics and Biosafety (BGI-IRB) to recognize, advocate, and guide BGI’s life science research and technological applications.

We are proud of the achievements that our scientists have delivered, and we are committed to continuing to work with our partners around the globe to drive new advancements in life science and healthcare.

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