Harvard-MIT institute partners with Google-backed Calico to study aging-related diseases

By Zachary Brennan

- Last updated on GMT

Harvard-MIT institute partners with Google-backed Calico to study aging-related diseases

Related tags Medicine

The Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard has entered into a partnership with Calico to study the biology and genetics of aging as part of early-stage drug discovery efforts. 

The partnership will support several efforts at the institute to advance the understanding of age-related diseases and to propel the translation of these findings into new therapies.

As part of the collaboration, Calico will leverage the institute's genetics and biology expertise and novel drug-discovery tools. Both Calico and the Broad Institute refused to offer any more details about the partnership.

Eric Lander, President and Director of the Broad Institute said in a statement: "The combination of our genetics, biology and chemistry expertise with Calico's therapeutics expertise will accelerate progress on important problems​."

"This alliance is a key part of Calico's strategy to bring the best cutting-edge science to bear on problems of aging. The Broad Institute is one of the nation's preeminent research organizations whose outstanding research has repeatedly revealed fundamental mechanisms of the biology and genetics of disease​," said Art Levinson, CEO of Calico.

Calico is the Google-backed life sciences company led by Levinson, former Chairman and CEO of Genentech, and Hal Barron, former EVP and Chief Medical Officer of Genentech.

"Broad scientists have led the way in describing the genetics underlying many of the common diseases of aging, including heart disease, diabetes, and cancer, and we look forward to collaborating with them. We are very excited by the opportunity to apply their insights to develop new medicines for patients with these devastating diseases​," added Barron, who’s now President of Research and Development at Calico.

The Broad Institute was launched in 2004 to empower scientists to transform medicine. The Broad Institute seeks to describe all the molecular components of life and their connections; discover the molecular basis of major human diseases; develop effective new approaches to diagnostics and therapeutics; and disseminate discoveries, tools, methods and data openly to the entire scientific community.

Back in April the institute signed on to collaborate with Pfizer and EMD Serono​ to help profile the genomes of lupus patients as part of a broader plan to find diagnostic approaches for disease monitoring. A philanthropist in July also gifted the institute $650m​ to galvanize research on psychiatric disorders.

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