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AHA and Google Life Sciences Partner on Heart Disease Research

November 10, 2015
by Heather Landi
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Technology will play a critical role in a new research collaboration between the American Heart Association (AHA) and Google Life Sciences to bring “new, unconventional thinking” to the study and prevention of coronary heart disease.

Each organization will commit $25 million for a combined $50 million over five years to support novel strategies to understand, prevent and reverse heart disease and its consequences, such as heart failure and sudden cardiac death.

Through technology, the collaboration will provide the scientific community with channels to technical capabilities and insights offered by Google Life Sciences. With the unique opportunity to access such resources, the collaboration will expand research pathways and empower researchers to conceptualize and test new approaches, the companies said in a press release.

AHA will contribute its vast scientific and medical resources, resulting in the application of a unique blend of technical and scientific knowledge to the search for new cardiovascular solutions.

“This is a fundamentally different kind of model for funding innovation,” Andy Conrad, CEO of Google Life Sciences, said. “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. We’re already imagining the possibilities when a team like that has access to the full resources of both Google Life Sciences and the AHA -- and we can’t wait to see what they discover.”

Cardiovascular diseases are the number one cause of death globally, accounting annually for approximately 17 million deaths, or about one of every three deaths.  According to the companies, traditional research funding models, which are often incremental and piecemeal, make it difficult to study a multifaceted subject that plays out over many years. As such, AHA and GLS have committed to a different approach with a $50 million investment in one research team, which will be tasked with developing an understanding of cardiovascular disease.

 “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,” American Heart Association CEO Nancy Brown said. “By working together, AHA and Google Life Sciences will be able to serve as the catalyst for change and transformation in reducing the impact of coronary heart disease on people’s lives and alleviating this global burden.”



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