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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4 Clinical OMICs May/June 2017 News only directly on the practice of medi- cine, but in a complementary way on other research. "We're hoping to dis- cover new signals to heart disease and cancer." Jessica Mega, M.D., chief medical officer at Verily, said Verily conceived the Project Baseline Study with the goal of mapping human health. One of the key features of the work is to develop a data infrastructure for mul- tidimensional datasets to be used as a single query source, she said. "This has not been done before, and really builds on our Google heritage." "The study will also evaluate novel tools and technologies that may be used to better understand the tran- sition from health to disease and identify additional risk factors for dis- ease," Dr. Mega added. Verily intends for the study to take "a deep and comprehensive view of human health," according to Dr. Mega. "The molecular, sensor, and software tools and technologies we are developing will seamlessly inte- grate, organize and activate multi- dimensional health data from lots of different sources—many of which have never been combined for a sin- gle individual. This includes passive sensor technology, such as an investi- gational wrist-worn sensor, as well as a data analytics platform that provides one query source for all of the data." Another aspect of the study includes the emphasis on the partici- pant. Dr. Mega called the study "par- ticipant-centric." "We have spent a lot of time think- ing about how to make the participant experience positive, so that being part of research can be fun and meaning- ful," she said. "Participants will have the option to receive certain health data and test results, and we think it's important to do it in an ethical, responsible manner." Beyond a positive experience, Verily will not be providing medical advice to participants. Participants will be encouraged to discuss any questions they have with their physicians, Dr. Mega said. In the end, Verily is aiming to develop a discovery platform that the scientific community can leverage in the future for exploratory research. Verily plans to make the de-identified data available to qualified investiga- tors around the world for research purposes. Ultimately, "Project Baseline is a united effort of diverse stakehold- ers that are all passionate about this important mission," Mega said. (continued from previous page) Softbank, New Investors Funnel $360M to Guardant Health Liquid biopsy company Guardant Health recently launched an initiative to sequence the tumor DNA of more than 1 million patients in the next five years, and has raised more than $360 million in a new round of financing led by a subsid- iary of Softbank to fuel the effort. The Guardant 1 Million effort is intended to drive fundamental advance- ments in cancer care and continue the development of blood-based tests aimed at the early detection of cancer, the company said. "We believe that conquering cancer is at its core a big-data problem, and researchers have been data starved," said Helmy Eltoukhy, Guardant Health co-Founder and CEO, in a press release. "Every physician who orders one of our tests and every patient whose tumor DNA we sequence add to this larger mis- sion by improving our understanding of this complex disease. With this ambitious five-year effort, we intend to acceler- ate this progress and provide a much- needed infusion of data into the field." In addition to being a lead investor in the latest round of financing, Softbank will enter a joint venture with Guardant to expand commercialization of the com- pany's liquid biopsy technology in Asia, Africa, and the Middle East. RomoloTavani / Getty Images anyaivanova / Getty Images

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