Why is the Global Alliance for Genomics and Health necessary?
By aggregating and analyzing large amounts of data, it may be possible to discover patterns that would otherwise remain obscure. In principle, this wealth of integrated genomic data and clinical information could reveal the genetic bases of cancer, inherited disease, infectious diseases, and drug responses—illnesses and remedies that have touched nearly every person and family across the globe.
However, interpreting these data requires a larger evidence base than any one party alone can develop, and one that adheres to the highest standards of ethics and privacy. Today more and more data are being collected, but in many cases the data are either isolated in silos, or researchers are spending too much of their time collecting enough data to conduct meaningful analyses.
Members of the Global Alliance recognize that the public interest will be best served if they work together at an early stage in the growing popularity of genome sequencing, in order to develop and promulgate standards (both technical and regulatory) that will make it possible to share and interpret this wealth of information in a manner that is both effective and responsible.