Lifebit partners with Latin American innovators to help solve global health challenges through genomics research
- Mexican and Brazilian biotech innovators to connect to Lifebit’s federated data technology
- Agreement will help accelerate scientific discoveries and create greater regional health equity
- Less than 1% of genomic data available for research is from people of Latin American / Hispanic origin
18 JULY 2023 – LONDON: London-based precision medicine software provider Lifebit has agreed partnerships with two innovative population genomic initiatives in Mexico and Brazil to help diversify genomic research and reduce health inequality in Latin America.
The use of Lifebit’s federated technology will allow researchers around the world to connect with and securely access the valuable and sensitive genomic data held by gen-t (headquartered in Sao Paolo) and Omica.bio (based in Mexico City) in a secure and compliant manner.
Currently, 78% of all genomic data available for research comes from people with white European ancestry, while less than one percent is from people of Latin American / Hispanic origin – an imbalance that significantly limits the impact of scientific insights for those living in the region.
As an overarching problem, 97% of health data around the world is inaccessible or unusable because:
- of the increase in legal and regulatory restrictions on data access to help keep sensitive information private;
- datasets are increasing in size and can be hard to manage, making it difficult for researchers to physically access the right data for their analyses;
- datasets often become siloed as they reside in disparate organisations and locations across the globe with bespoke governance laws restricting access and / or movement of the data.
To help tackle this inequality, gen-t and Omica.bio chose to partner with Lifebit – a leader in secure technology for biomedical research – to ensure the data they are collecting can be accessed, ethically and securely, for life sciences research. The aim is to benefit local populations in Latin America and, through Lifebit’s expertise, population health research across the world.
gen-t was founded by leading experts in genomics research and aims to include the Brazilian population in precision medicine by recruiting 200k participants to safely collect data on their health, DNA and lifestyle. Focusing primarily on people from lower socio-economic backgrounds, gen-t’s programme includes free health checks and a follow-up health appointment every year for 5 years.
Prof Lygia V. Pereira, CEO and Co-Founder, gen-t Science, said: “Our partnership with Lifebit will provide us with the international connections to safely link Brazilian data to other datasets around the world and boost the availability of more diverse genomic resources for research. This is vital in sustaining this initiative and ensuring people in Brazil can benefit from the latest drugs and scientific discoveries.”
In Mexico, Omica.bio is leading a revolution in ethical biotechnology. Through its network of community-driven biobanks, they partner with underserved communities and unique patient cohorts to provide global researchers with diverse health-related datasets. Grounded in the principles of fair and equitable research, Omica.bio is on a mission to bring Latin American communities to the forefront of biomedical innovation.
Victor Angel-Mosti, CEO and Founder of Omica.bio, said: “Omica.bio and Lifebit share a common commitment to never let the lack of data stand in the way of scientific progress. This partnership presents an exciting opportunity to bring the genetic diversity of Latin American populations to the global research agenda. This has the potential to transform global research endeavours whilst also directly benefiting people in Latin America.”
Lifebit’s platform provides a secure way for research organisations to access global biomedical data – without the data needing to be physically moved or shared. Trusted by governments around the world, including the UK and Denmark, and international pharmaceutical companies, Lifebit’s technology is helping accelerate precision medicine and drug discovery.
Dr Maria Dunford, CEO of Lifebit, said: “Using Lifebit’s platform will enable these data from traditionally underserved populations to be securely available for approved research. By connecting organisations across the global community we want to collaborate and challenge the fact that only 1% of data currently available for research comes from Latin American / Hispanic communities. Our mission is to ensure that access to biomedical data - in particular diverse data - will never again be an obstacle to curing diseases and we are delighted to partner with gen-t and Omica Bio.”
Lifebit is a global leader in genomics and health data software, empowering organisations across the globe to transform how they securely and safely leverage sensitive biomedical data. We are committed to solving the most challenging problems in precision medicine, genomics and healthcare with a mission to create a world where access to biomedical data will never again be an obstacle to curing diseases. www.lifebit.ai @lifebitAI
Gen-t’s mission is to include the Brazilian population in precision medicine and leverage its genomic diversity to accelerate biomedical research and innovation for all. gen-t.science/en/
About Omica Bio
Omica Bio is leading a revolution in ethical biotechnology by creating a national biobank of healthcare data. Its mission is to bring the Latin America community to the forefront of biomedical research and development. www.omica.bio
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