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Human Longevity Inks Deal for Genomic Sequencing Services With South African, UK Payor

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb) – Human Longevity has struck a deal with health insurance company Discovery to offer exome, whole-genome and cancer genome sequencing services for Discovery's customers in South Africa and the UK.

Through the agreement, Discovery's clients will be able to access exome sequencing and analysis for $250. The genomic services will be offered through Discovery's Vitality program, a behavioral wellness opportunity that enables behavior-linked insurance pricing. Discovery also partners with other global insurers through its Vitality program.

"We believe that this is a pioneering approach in global health insurance, and will enable us to provide our clients with the world's most advanced, current knowledge on their genetically determined disease risks, as well as on personalized health, wellness, and medical treatment strategies," Discovery Health CEO Jonathan Broomberg said in a statement.

Clients that participate in the program will get a comprehensive report of their genomic findings, including disease risk and potential wellness strategies, that will be delivered through Discovery's network of physicians and genetic counselors. They will also receive updates to the reports as new findings are made.

"We believe that genomic understanding of individuals is one of the best ways to positively impact human health and health outcomes," Human Longevity CEO and Co-founder J. Craig Venter said in a statement.

As part of the agreement, Discovery will provide de-identified genomic and phenotypic data to Human Longevity for research. In addition, Discovery and Human Longevity will open Human Longevity Health Nucleus centers in South Africa and the UK, which will be health centers where clients receive genome, microbiome, and metabolome sequencing, along with comprehensive MRI body scans and other clinical testing, in order to provide a complete health assessment. The first Health Nucleus will open in October at Human Longevity's San Diego headquarters.

In the UK, the genomic services will be available through a program called VitalityHealth, previously known as PruHealth before being bought by Discovery and rebranded. VitalityHealth provides services to over 550,000 customers in the UK.