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Helix, Memorial Hermann Health System Partner on Population Genomics Project

NEW YORK – Population genomics and viral surveillance company Helix said Tuesday that it has begun a new partnership with Texas' Memorial Hermann Health System to launch a new population health program targeting 100,000 individuals.

Expected to be one of the largest such programs in the region, the effort will give participants no-cost access to genetic data intended to help them and their medical providers assess their risk for serious health conditions such as cardiovascular disease and certain cancers.

Helix offers what it calls a "Sequence Once, Query Often" model, using exome sequencing to allow providers and patients access to evolving genomic insights without the need to undergo repeat testing.

"Unlocking the insights of DNA will allow our affiliated providers to create precise, personalized plans for our patients and protect more people from preventable disease," Memorial Hermann President and CEO David Callender said in a statement. "We know that population genomics is an increasingly important resource helpful for providing patients with the best possible care and ultimately improving their long-term health," he added.

Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Helix has previously partnered with other healthcare organizations on similar initiatives, as well as with governmental bodies like the National Institutes of Health and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. According to the company, its prior efforts have seen as many as 1 in 75 participants receive genetic results suggesting risk for a serious health issue, most of which would not have been discovered through other means.