Clinical OMICS

JAN-FEB 2017

Healthcare magazine for research scientists, labs, pathologists, hospitals, cancer centers, physicians and biopharma companies providing news articles, expert interviews and videos about molecular diagnostics in precision medicine

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Page 42 of 47 January/February 2017 Clinical OMICs 41 Alliance members welcomed the opportunity and expressed eagerness and excitement to work with each other under Dr. Wang's leadership. Larry Gold, founder and chairman of the board for SomaLogic called Wang "remarkable," and "a visionary, on the Steve Jobs-level." Bill Colston, CEO of HealthTell said he expects Wang will use his influence in China to raise "billions of dollars" more over the next 10 years—catapult- ing the alliance's efforts, while creat- ing economies of scale to aid research. Both Coltson and Gold said Dr. Wang "understands the realities" of the kind of work he is undertaking. Their praise doesn't come unfounded. According to iCarbonX, Dr. Wang earned a B.S. in artificial intelli- gence and Ph.D. in bioinformatics from Peking University. In 1999, he co-founded BGI, known as the Beijing Genomics Institute prior to 2008 —a world-class genome sequencing cen- ter, in Shenzhen, China. While at BGI, Dr. Wang managed three rounds of fund-raising amounting to $1 billion. PatientsLikeMe, a patient network launched more than a decade ago with half a million members, is in line to receive $100 million from the iCarbonX alliance. Ben Heywood, co-founder and president of Patient- sLikeMe, said the new alliance is important "because we believe people need actionable data earlier, so they know what to do to reduce or elimi- nate the risks of developing a condi- tion or to more effectively manage and live better with a condition." "Right now, we know a lot about what we're born with—that's genet- ics—and how diseases can end lives," Heywood said. "What we don't know enough about is what happens in between: how diseases manifest in the body over time, and how our every- day actions affect what and how fast something develops." Next steps for the alliance are as yet undetermined, Gold said, but the companies forming the alliance have had "a large number of discussions over the last year." Colston said the companies in the alliance have similar business plans and are making plans to partner on various research. There are specific goals planned for the alli- ance overall, which are likely to be publicly announced, he said. "There's an ultimate vision, and Jun has that in his head," Colston said. Of the research, he said, "there's a heck of a lot we're going to learn along the way." Peter Christey, CEO of General Automation Lab Technologies (GALT), said the alliance will help its members to leverage their combined capabili- ties to achieve higher goals than they could achieve alone. "Right now, we know a lot about what we're born with—that's genetics—and how diseases can end lives. What we don't know enough about is what happens in between." —Ben Heywood, co-founder and president, PatientsLikeMe GuidoVrola / Getty Images

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