Genomic data company WuXi NextCODE has announced the appointment of Dr. Richard Williams as managing director and head of oncology programs to lead continued development of the company’s cancer business.

Williams served most recently at Illumina spin-out GRAIL as program lead and lead medical director for the Circulating Cell-Free Genome Atlas (CCGA) program. CCGA is a large-scale prospective survey of circulating nucleic acids in cancer that could potentially be a key to the early detection of cancer and the development of advanced blood-based cancer diagnostics. Prior to that, he was head of the early development oncology group and then clinical research medical director in hematology/oncology global development at Amgen.

“We are very fortunate to have a leader of Richard’s caliber to advance and commercialize our unique and integrated portfolio of capabilities and services in cancer genomics,” said Rob Brainin, CEO of WuXi NextCODE. “Turning massive datasets into insights that can lead to better diagnosis and treatment for patients is the challenge we address and has been the focus of Richard’s serial success in the industry.”

At WuXi NextCODE William will oversee the company’s cancer business, including working on the company’s SeqPlus service that promises to significantly improve sequencing and data generation from FFPE samples, and creating massively scalable and instantly queriable databases of tumor and patient sequence and phenotypic data. His work will also incorporate applying AI and deep learning to gain novel insights into cancer initiation, development, and therapeutic sensitivity and resistance.

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