Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOGL) is in a unique position to help advance the study of Autism with its new partnership with Autism Speaks, Bob Wright said in a recent interview with Bloomberg television’s Betty Liu.
The Autism Speaks co-founder and former NBC Universal chairman and CEO said that this new partnership is a “collaboration between business, science and philanthropy to do something that will not get done in our National Institutes of Health-driven, academic world.”
According to the executive, they are announcing this tie-up with Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOGL) now because the project is up and running. He revealed that the project involves doing genome sequencing from a base of 12,000 families and information they have gathered over 15 years.
Wright said that what Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOGL) will be doing for its genomics work is “a bit revolutionary” as the internet giant has the capacity to do computational work at a scale that the U.S. government does not have. The Autism Speaks cofounder said that the project has already done 1,000 sequences with another 1,000 ready to be analyzed. A thousand whole genome sequences represents 6 trillion pieces of data, he said. At a later part of the interview, he said that a separate firm is doing the sequences. He continued:
“They are so uniquely staffed with the scientists, mathematicians, [and]the people who have the technical background to do it. [Google themselves have said that] modern biology is limited now by data. Modern computing can break those barriers down.”
Asked what Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOGL) is putting into the project, Wright said that the web search and advertising giant will host all the sequence data and do the analytics on the data. Liu then asked whether the ultimate goal is to find a cure for autism to which Wright answered that the project aims to classify autism first. This will lead to a more individualized treatment for the different classes of autism which pharmaceutical companies can concentrate on, he noted.
Watch the interview below:
Shareholders in Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG) includes Duquesne Capital managed by Stanley Druckenmiller which reported 259,610 shares in the company by the end of March. This stake was valued at about $289.34 million. Another investor in the internet giant is Harris Associates managed by Natixis Global Asset Management which reported shares at the end of the first quarter to be at 257,337.