According to a recent Deloitte report, advances in medical science are leading to an increased life expectancy. In 2014, the average life expectancy globally was 72.3 years and that is expected to grow to 73.3 years by 2019. In 2019, 11% of the total population are expected to be aged more than 65 years. Analysts expect that out of the global health spend of nearly $7 trillion, nearly half of the funds are diverted to making sure that this ageing population continues to live longer. Human Longevity’s Offerings
La Jolla, California-based Human Longevity (HLI) is one player that is successfully integrating genomics and technology to help create the world’s largest and most comprehensive database of whole genome, phenotype, and clinical data that can be used to increase human longevity. The company is focusing on understanding and interpreting the true characteristics embedded in the human genome, taking this genetic code, and translating it into meaningful insights. It believes that it can sequence a person’s DNA and combine it with other clinical tests to identify how long the person will live, and what can be done to extend their life, even before a disease, such as cancer, shows symptoms.
HLI was founded in 2013 by leading scientists J. Craig Venter, Robert Hariri, and Peter H Daimandis. Together, the three visionaries are working on developing and applying large-scale computing and machine learning technologies in the field of medicine. HLI operates Big Data processing centers that are able to integrate machine learning capabilities into genome database to develop new ways of fighting aging related diseases.
Till the end of 2015, HLI was able to sequence around 100,000 genomes annually. It expects to improve computing power to be able to sequence as many as 1 million genomes per year. Its database is enabling pharmaceutical companies, insurers, and healthcare providers to impact healthy living conditions of their end users. For instance, HLI offers exome, genome, and cancer genome sequencing to Discovery Insurance Clients in South Africa and the United Kingdom to help the company develop a behavioral wellness solution for its patrons.
The program’s subscribers are able to get access to tools, knowledge, and incentives to improve their health based on the exome sequencing and analysis customized for them. Additionally, healthcare providers can provide an integrated assessment of health status and potential risks for individuals and families using predictive solutions with focus on cancer analysis, integrated health analysis, newborn screening and rare, undiagnosed diseases.
Human Longevity’s Financials
HLI does not disclose its financials. Its revenue stream includes database licensing to pharmaceutical, biotechnology, and academic organizations. It also earns revenues by providing services such as sequencing and development of advanced diagnostics and therapeutics to its customers.
Its Health Nucleus service charges patients $25,000 in which they get a battery of tests conducted over a day. At the end of the day, the patient is sent home with a small device that measures heart rate for a two-week period. After the completion of these tests, the patient is able to access a 3D view of themselves and are able to get a complete profile of almost one petabyte of medical information. This information can then be used to provide customized medical treatment and healthy lifestyle approaches.
It is venture funded so far with $300 million in investments from investors including Bryan Johnson, Celgene, Daniel Curran, Draper Fisher Jurvetson (DFJ), GE Ventures, Illumina, Synthetic Genomics, and Tan Thay. Its last round of funding was held in April this year when it raised $220 million in a round led by Illumina at a valuation of $1.2 billion. The funding is expected to help HLI expand before it finally goes public. HLI has not disclosed plans of when it will go public.
Very interesting company, with one caveat: I personally do not want to live all that long, so too much increase in life expectancy isn’t something I am personally in favor of. The planet has limited resources, and Artificial Intelligence is driving automation to extremes, such that robots will replace humans in large swathes of the economy. Both economically and environmentally, longevity extension is something I am against, and this, once again, is another scientific discipline where I am compelled to ask the question, Just because we can, does it mean we should?
Photo Credit: Reginald Pentinio/Flickr.com
This segment is a part in the series : 2016 IPO Prospects