Clinical OMICS

MAY-JUN 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 4 of 47 May/June 2017 Clinical OMICs 3 (continued on next page) News Rocking the Baseline Verily, Duke, and Stanford Aim to Make Medicine More Predictive with a New Baseline Study By Diana Manos, Contributing Editor V erily Life Sciences, Duke Univer- sity School of Medicine, and Stan- ford Medicine have announced they will launch a new longitudinal base- line study to provide a platform for further genomic and lifestyle research. The study, to be funded by Verily, will collect broad phenotypic health data from approximately 10,000 par- ticipants, who will each be followed over the course of at least four years. The study will be part of a larger initiative between the three groups, called Project Baseline. Project Baseline "may have a pro- found impact" on the future of med- icine, said Kenneth Mahaffey, M.D., a professor at the Stanford University School of Medicine and vice chair of clinical research at the Stanford Center for Clinical Research. "Baseline is different than other programs," he said, because it will provide a deeper and more compre- hensive view of human health and disease—and the transitions from health to disease. "We hope to be able to identify yet-to-be-identified signals or biosignatures that accurately define health, disease, and the potential tran- sitions." Dr. Mahaffey said the study might allow for a "a much greater under- standing of the biology of disease and identify opportunities for new inter- ventions or therapies." According to Dr. Mahaffey, Base- line came about as a culmination of discussions between Andrew Con- rad, CEO of Verily (formerly Google Life Sciences), and now an Alphabet company; Rob Califf, M.D., who at the time was a professor of medicine and vice chancellor for clinical and trans- lational research at Duke; and Sam Gambhir, M.D., chair of the radiology department and director of the molec- ular imaging program at Stanford. "Both universities had ongoing projects and realized that embarking on Project Baseline as a strong aca- demic-industry partnership between the three organizations could be quite powerful," Dr. Mahaffey said. According to Verily, study sites will include Duke's Durham and Kan- napolis sites in North Carolina, and Stanford's site in Stanford, California, along with the California Health and Longevity Institute in Westlake Vil- lage, California. Adrian Hernandez, M.D., profes- sor of medicine at Duke, said Duke has been looking for some time for "a 21st Century approach to health- care," and they believe Baseline might provide that. The desire was to figure out which biomarkers could predict changes in a person's health, as early as possible. The baseline study will track a wide variety of data, including those collected through clinical, imaging, self-reported, physical, environmen- tal, behavioral, sensor, molecular, genetic, and other health-related mea- surements. Blood, saliva, and other biospecimens will also be collected. The Verily study watch, worn by par- ticipants, will track heart rate and other data over time, said Dr. Hernan- dez. The study participants will range from young to old and have varying degrees of health, allowing for a more predictive way of treating patients, rather than reactive. Dr. Hernandez said he hopes the study will have a large impact, not aurielaki / Getty Images

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