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Human Longevity Signs 10-Year Deal With AstraZeneca for Genomics Work

San Diego’s Human Longevity Inc. struck a deal with pharma giant AstraZeneca and its global biologics R&D arm, MedImmune, the companies announced April 21.

The 10-year deal involves sequencing and analyzing 500,000 DNA samples for AstraZeneca’s trials.

The London-based company launched an in-house genomics center that will swap data and samples with Human Longevity (founded by La Jolla geneticist J. Craig Venter). The collaborations is part of a bigger initiative by AstraZeneca to join forces with several heavy hitters in genetic sequencing to mine up to 2 million human genomes for new drug targets. The initiative also involves the United Kingdom’s Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute and the University of Helsinki’s Institute for Molecular Medicine Finland.

AstraZeneca expects that whole genomes, combined with personal, individualized health data, will reveal rare genetic variants that influence disease and suggest new drug targets.

Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.

The collaboration comes less than a month after the privately-held Human Longevity, which Venter launched in 2013, announced $220 million in new venture financing.

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