Genome pioneer Craig Venter is launching a new company with hopes of tackling aging.

Venter announced Tuesday he had received $70 million from investors to start Human Longevity, Inc. (HLI) with a goal of creating the world's largest sequencing project aimed at gathering data covering the "complete" human genotype, microbiome and phenotype. They plan on using the information to create cell-based treatments possible to extend lives and improve human quality of life.

Venter will be both chairman and CEO of the new company. Peter Diamandis of the X Prize Foundation and Robert Hariri of Celgene will be vice chairmen.

"We're hoping to make numerous new discoveries in preventive medicine," Venter said on a conference call. "We think this will have a huge impact on changing the cost of medicine."

The company has purchased two HiSeq X Ten gene sequencing systems from leading DNA sequencing machine manufacturer Illumina Inc., and has the option to buy three more.

"This will be one of the largest data studies in the history of science and medicine," Venter said.

Aside from gathering whole genome data, the company will also collect genetic data on the trillions of microbes living in and on humans. Through a better understanding of microbiomes, the company hopes to develop better probiotics along with better diagnostics and drugs to improve health and wellness.

The company will also collect data on the metabolome (the numerous biochemicals, metabolites and fats in the body) to gain a better understanding of the circulating chemicals that enrich health and affect the way in which drugs work.

Initially the company will target some of the most difficult age-related diseases: diabetes and obesity, cancer, dementia, and heart and liver diseases.

According to Venter, it will first start with cancer. It has already teamed up with the Moores Cancer Center at the University of California, San Diego in hopes of sequencing the genomes of everyone who arrives there for treatment and also doing a full genome sequence on their tumors.

"Cancer is one of the most actionable areas right now with genomic-based therapies," Venter said.

"[Cancer is] just the first of a multitude of diseases we will be sequencing this year," he added.

Aside from UCSD, the company is also collaborating with Metabolon Inc of North Carolina, a company that focuses on biochemical profiling, along with the nonprofit genomics research institute the J. Craig Venter Institute.

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