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AHA, Google Life Sciences Announce $50M Collaboration to Find Drivers of Heart Disease

Mary K. Caffrey
The venture will select a project leader in early 2016. AHA said this is the largest single research investment in its history.
The American Heart Association (AHA) and Google Life Sciences on Sunday announced a $50 million partnership to fund research into the causes of heart disease. Each organization will invest $25 million in the effort, which AHA said is the largest one-time research investment in the group’s history.

The announcement came in an afternoon session at AHA’s Scientific Sessions, which opened Saturday and conclude Wednesday in Orlando, Florida.

According to a statement from AHA, in early 2016, a joint leadership group of AHA and Google Life Sciences members will select a point person to run the venture. The statement said the person may be a cardiologist but could come from another field, will receive control of the $50 million in phases to run the program.

It was described as a “cross functional group of investigators, and lead all efforts towards further finding new causes and drivers of coronary heart disease.” Aspects will cover clinical research, engineering, and data analysis, as well as access to support from both Google Life Sciences and AHA.

“With its devastating human impact on countless generations of families, cardiovascular disease, and in particular coronary heart disease remains the greatest and deadliest global health challenge we face today,” said AHA CEO Nancy Brown.

Sunday’s announcement emphasized the role that technology will play in the project. “This is a fundamentally different kind of model for funding innovation,” said Andy Conrad, CEO of Google Life Sciences. “The team leader will be able to bring together clinicians, engineers, designers, basic researchers and other experts to think in new ways about the causes of coronary heart disease.”

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