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J. Craig Venter Part of Team Launching Human Longevity Inc.

San Diego super-scientist J. Craig Venter has launched a new company, Human Longevity Inc., that aims to prolong the human lifespan through genomics and cell therapy-based diagnostics.

Along with co-founders Robert Hariri and Peter Diamandis, Venter has already drummed up $70 million in initial investor funding for the new company. It will be headquartered in San Diego.

The funding is being used to build “the largest human sequencing operation in the world,” the company said, to compile a comprehensive portfolio of individuals’ genetic information and medical histories.

“Using the combined power of our core areas of expertise — genomics, informatics, and stem cell therapies, we are tackling one of the greatest medical/scientific and societal challenges — aging and aging related diseases,” Venter said.

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The new company is collaborating with University of California, San Diego to recruit a patient base to sequence, so as to understand the specifics of the genetics behind aging and disease.

Human Longevity has purchased two of San Diego-based Illumina Inc.’s HiSeq X Ten sequencing machines — which run $10 million apiece — and it has the option to purchase three more. It will sequence the genomes of 40,000 people per year, and plans to scale up to 100,000 human genomes per year.

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