Prepared Statement by J. Craig Venter, Ph.D.
It is gratifying to see that the Obama Administration realizes the great power and potential for genomic science as a means to better understand human biology, and to aid in disease prevention and treatment. I was honored to participate in today’s White House event outlining a potential new, government-funded precision medicine program.
Since the 1980s my teams have been focused on advancing the science of genomics—from the first sequenced genome of a free living organism, the first complete human genome, microbiome and synthetic cell— to better all our lives.
We founded HLI in 2013 with the goal of revolutionizing healthcare and medicine by systematically harnessing genomics data to address disease. Our comprehensive database is already in place with thousands of complete human genomes, microbiomes and phenotypic information together with accompanying clinical records, and is enabling the pharmaceutical industry, academics, physicians and patients to use these data to advance understanding about disease and wellness, and to apply them for personalized care.
We envisioned a new era in medicine when we founded HLI in which millions of lives will be improved through genomics and comprehensive phenotype data.
Now, through sequencing and analyzing thousands of genomes with private funds – with the goal of reaching 1 million genomes by 2020 – we believe that we can get a holistic understanding of human biology and the individual.
It is encouraging that the US government is discussing taking a role in a genomic-enabled future, especially funding the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to develop high-quality, curated databases and develop additional genomic expertise. We agree, though, that there are still significant issues that must be addressed in any government-funded and led precision medicine program. Issues surrounding who will have access to the data, privacy and patient medical/genomic records are some of the most pressing.
We look forward to continuing the dialogue with the Administration, FDA and other stakeholders as this is an important initiative in which government must work hand in hand with the commercial sector and academia.
Additional Background on Human Longevity, Inc.
HLI, a privately held company headquartered in San Diego, CA was founded in 2013 by pioneers in the fields of genomics and stem cell therapy. Using advances in genomic sequencing, the human microbiome, proteomics, informatics, computing, and cell therapy technologies, HLI is building the world’s largest and most comprehensive database of human genomic and phenotype data.
The company is also building advanced health centers – called HLI Health Hubs – which will be the embodiment of our philosophies of genomic science-based longevity care – where we will apply this learning and deliver it to the general public for the greatest benefit. Individuals and families will be seen in welcoming environments for one-stop, advanced evaluations (advanced genotype and phenotype analysis including whole body MRI, wireless digital monitoring, etc.). Our first prototype center is slated to open in July 2015 in San Diego, California.
For more information please visit www.humanlongevity.com
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HLI Media Contact:
Heather Kowalski, firstname.lastname@example.org, 858-361-0466