Blockchain healthcare startup led by Harvard genomics professor George Church initiates a research collaboration with a leading blockchain and artificial intelligence healthcare company to establish the new fields of microdataeconomics and macrodataeconomics with a focus on life data.
SAN FRANCISCO, May 16, 2018 /PRNewswire/ — Today several leaders in blockchain and artificial intelligence for healthcare data announced a collaboration to launch a new research field of life data economics. An exclusive research collaboration has been announced between Nebula Genomics, a San Francisco-based company co-founded by genomics pioneer George Church that is using blockchain to build a marketplace for genomic and clinical data, and Longenesis, a Hong Kong-based partnership between Insilico Medicine and the Bitfury Group that is applying deep learning and blockchain technologies to make a platform for the exchange of healthcare data.
Caption right to left: Human life data economics research partnership. Dennis Grishin (Nebula Genomics/Harvard), Prof. George Church (Nebula Genomics/Harvard) and Alex Zhavoronkov, PhD (Insilico Medicine/Longenesis)
The companies were recently featured in a Nature Medicine article titled "Experimenting with blockchain: Can one technology boost both data integrity and patients’ pocketbooks?" following the publication of the approach underlying Longenesis’ platform in a peer-reviewed journal and the demonstration of a working prototype.
"By allowing individuals and large data providers such as biobanks to maintain ownership of their genomic data on our platform and profit from it, Nebula Genomics seeks to incentivize generation of genomic data. In doing so, we will gather the data on a single network where it can be conveniently and securely accessed by researchers. In other words, we will make a marketplace that will create an equitable and efficient economy for genomic data. Longenesis has built a similar platform that instead focuses on longitudinal health data, so our platforms complement one another very well," said Professor George Church, co-founder of Nebula Genomics and professor at both Harvard and MIT.
The economy for life data is currently inefficient because data of a particular type is often fragmented across many different parties that each own some of the data. "Currently, acquiring genomic data is a slow and costly process, because researchers at pharma and biotech companies have to manually inquire about data availability, negotiate prices, sign contracts and make payments. We will use smart contracts to automate data acquisition and make it several orders of magnitude faster," said Dennis Grishin, CSO and co-founder of Nebula Genomics.
With limited access it also becomes difficult to determine the true value of the data because life data is often far more useful when analyzed in large quantities at once. Additionally, it is often impossible to determine the true value of a specific type of data unless it is analyzed in tandem with another type of data, which is also made difficult by the current fragmented state of the life data market. For example, genomic data is far more useful when paired with electronic health records to provide phenotypic information.
"In the past, the value of human personal data was primarily defined by the profit potential from sales of goods and services. But with the advances in artificial intelligence and biotechnology we are moving into the new era where the various types of data collected over the lifetime can yield unprecedented healthcare benefits for the individual and for the economy. We need the new pricing and valuation models to assess the time-, timing-, relationship-, resolution- and combination-value of life data in the context of health and longevity. We need the equivalent of the Black-Scholes model, to assess the value of and to price data, but with the many more "greeks" and orders of magnitude more complex. The intimate partnership with the Nebula Genomics team will help take this research to a new level," said Alex Zhavoronkov, PhD, the founder and CEO of Insilico Medicine and CSO of Longenesis.
Nebula Genomics, Longenesis, Bitfury and Insilico Medicine seek to create platforms that utilize blockchain technology to establish a more efficient and equitable economy for the exchange of life data. Nebula Genomics, co-founded by Harvard Medical School professor and genomics pioneer Dr. George Church along with Harvard researchers Kamal Obbad and Dennis Grishin, is building a platform that allows individuals to have their genomes sequenced and opt to provide them to data buyers directly through a secure blockchain-based network. The platform will eventually support other types of clinical data as well. Longenesis is developing a platform that uses Artificial Intelligence (AI) tools developed in collaboration with Insilico Medicine to store and exchange health-related data such as lab test results. The approach used by Longenesis research on the basic aspects of human life data economics was published in a peer-reviewed journal and the platform has launched in alpha and established proof of concept over a year-long pilot. Through this collaboration, the Longenesis network will be incorporated into the Nebula Genomics network while both teams continue working together on the development of the platforms.
The collaboration will be geared towards determining the true value of life data. In approaching this problem, the groups will establish two new fields. The first is microdataeconomics, the study of the value of life data that is used for drug discovery such as proteomics or data regarding the structure and activity of specific molecules, both in vitro and in vivo. The second is macrodataeconomics, the study of the value of life data that is used to determine human health such as electronic health records and genomics. The combined Nebula Genomics/ Longenesis platform will help determine the value of life data by bringing huge amounts of data of many different types onto a single platform where it can be conveniently and securely accessed by researchers.
"We are very happy to join forces with the Nebula Genomics team to unlock the value of data in many new and previously unimaginable ways. Today, the data is being valued for its utility to generate sales revenue or using the cost to generate the data as a base. But in the context of healthcare and preventative medicine the value of the data and the way we collect and combine it will be dramatically different. This joint effort is likely to contribute to the global economic growth," said Garry Zmudze, the co-founder and managing director of Longenesis.
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About Insilico Medicine, Inc
Insilico Medicine, Inc. is an artificial intelligence company headquartered at the Emerging Technology Centers at the Johns Hopkins University Eastern campus in Baltimore, with R&D and management resources in Belgium, Russia, UK, Taiwan and Korea sourced through hackathons and competitions. The company and its scientists are dedicated to extending human productive longevity and transforming every step of the drug discovery and drug development process through excellence in biomarker discovery, drug development, digital medicine and aging research.
Insilico pioneered the applications of the generative adversarial networks (GANs) and reinforcement learning for generation of novel molecular structures for the diseases with a known target and with no known targets. In addition to working collaborations with the large pharmaceutical companies, the company is pursuing internal drug discovery programs in cancer, dermatological diseases, fibrosis, Parkinson’s Disease, Alzheimer’s Disease, ALS, diabetes, sarcopenia, and aging. Through a partnership with LifeExtension.com the company launched a range of nutraceutical products compounded using the advanced bioinformatics techniques and deep learning approaches. It also provides a range of consumer-facing applications including Young.AI.
In 2017, NVIDIA selected Insilico Medicine as one of the Top 5 AI companies in its potential for social impact. In 2018, the company was named one of the global top 100 AI companies by CB Insights. Brief company video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l62jlwgL3v8
About Nebula Genomics
Nebula Genomics is a blockchain healthcare company based in San Francisco. It is co-founded by Harvard Medical School Professor and genomics pioneer Dr. George Church along with Harvard researchers Kamal Obbad and Dennis Grishin.
The company aims to build a marketplace for genomic and other health-related data that consists of a blockchain-based, peer-to-peer network to which individuals or data aggregators such as biobanks can upload their genomic data. They can then directly and securely connect with data buyers and receive payment for their data. The Nebula model reduces enhances protection of personal genomic data and satisfies the needs of data buyers in regards to data availability, data acquisition logistics, and resources needed for genomic big data.
Longenesis is a result of a partnership between the leader in artificial intelligence for healthcare, Insilico Medicine and the leader in blockchain, Bitfury intended to return control over life data back to the individuals. The mission of Longenesis is to improve human performance, extend life, prevent disease and make all people wealthier by developing a decentralized ecosystem for exchange and utilization of human life data using the latest advances in blockchain and artificial intelligence. The Longenesis platform has been in development since August 2017 without engaging in any crypto fundraising activities. For more information visit:
The Bitfury Group is the leading full-service blockchain technology company and one of the largest private infrastructure providers in the blockchain ecosystem. The Bitfury Group develops and delivers both the software and the hardware solutions necessary for businesses, governments, organizations and individuals to securely move an asset across the blockchain. The expertise of the Bitfury Group ensures successful, easy, fast, secure and cost-effective connectivity to the blockchain. Bitfury is a global team of experts in technology, business, communications, security and civil society. Bitfury believes the blockchain will open new doors for global economic opportunity and prosperity, and its mission is to create and advance blockchain applications that will further promote innovation and the advancement of the peer-to peer economy.