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LunaDNA, Genetic Alliance to Merge Technology Platforms

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb) – LunaPBC, the public-benefit corporation that operates the LunaDNA genomic data platform, today announced plans to merge its technology with nonprofit health advocacy organization Genetic Alliance's patient engagement platform.

Solana Beach, California-based LunaPBC said that the two organizations would spend much of 2019 intertwining Genetic Alliance's offering, called the Platform for Engaging Everyone Responsibly, with LunaDNA in an effort to support improved health management and to provide individuals and communities with more research opportunities.

Last month, startup LunaDNA received approval from the US Securities and Exchange Commission to to recognize personal health data, including genomes, as a form of currency. That gave the organization the go-ahead to open its technology platform to US residents wishing to contribute their medical and DNA data in exchange for shares in the community-owned platform.

Similarly, Washington-based Genetic Alliance, which dates to 1986, offers individuals control over their own health data for research purposes.

"Like us, [LunaPBC believes] individuals need and deserve opportunities to be active participants in their own health and research opportunities. The day of de-identified data is over," Genetic Alliance President and CEO Sharon Terry said in a statement.

"Together, we're providing a people-centric model that empowers the individual to offer access to their health data and also receive support. We are building secure and transparent communities and connections geared towards supporting the individual that will accelerate medical breakthroughs," Terry continued.

"By putting people truly at the center of the model versus just leveraging them as sources of specimens, we engage individuals as true partners in creating a dynamic, real-world asset for research," LunaPBC President and Cofounder Dawn Barry added. "Rather than having researchers wait for sufficient data to pose questions, the community-owned data is poised to address their novel hypotheses."