NEW YORK – Lifebit said on Tuesday that it has formed partnerships with two population genetics companies in Latin America to help those initiatives scale up and access other research and industry partners.
Under the collaborations, London-based Lifebit is providing its federated bioinformatics software and "trusted research environment" data platform to Gen-T of São Paulo, Brazil, and OmicaBio of Mexico City. Both customers are looking to diversify genomic datasets and ultimately reduce health disparities in Latin America.
OmicaBio, a population genomics startup, is building a biobank in Mexico and is looking to create reference genomes for various Latin American countries as well as Latino populations in the US. Gen-T is currently recruiting 200,000 people for a precision medicine program serving mostly low-income communities in Brazil.
"Our partnership with Lifebit will provide us with the international connections to safely link Brazilian data to other datasets around the world and boost the availability of more diverse genomic resources for research. This is vital in sustaining this initiative and ensuring people in Brazil can benefit from the latest drugs and scientific discoveries," Gen-T CEO and Cofounder Lygia Pereira said in a statement.
"Using Lifebit's platform will enable these data from traditionally underserved populations to be securely available for approved research," added Lifebit CEO Maria Dunford. "By connecting organizations across the global community, we want to collaborate and challenge the fact that only 1 percent of data currently available for research comes from Latin American and Hispanic communities."