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ARM Innovation Hub
21 August, 2020 - 18:41 By Tony Quested

Cambridge business shares $1m prize in honour of Star Trek creator

Tech ‘Trekkies’ from Cambridge-based genomics pioneer Global Gene Corp are sharing $1 million after being named as one of four global businesses to win the Roddenberry Prize – presented by the Roddenberry Foundation in honour of the Star Trek inventor.

Two US companies and one from France share the prize, awarded annually for projects that improve the lot of humanity and judged this year for especially significant responses to the COVID-19 epidemic.

Global Gene Corp has established its R & D centre in the Wellcome Genome Campus in Hinxton, Cambridge UK and has headquarters in Singapore and presence in Boston and India. 

The response to the competition was overwhelming with over 2,500 applications from non-profit and for-profit enterprises of all sizes from around the globe.    

Sumit Jamuar, chairman & CEO of Global Gene Corp said: “At Global Gene Corp we are truly honoured and humbled to receive the Roddenberry Foundation Prize for 2020. 

“Growing up in India as a Star Trek fan, Gene Roddenberry inspired us with his vision of a future where technology is a force for incredible positive impact on humanity. 

“This recognition of our work to create an equitable and fair world – where all of us, irrespective of where we live, can benefit by leapfrogging to the healthcare of the future enabled by genomics, digital health and creating the next generation of therapeutics – is a truly remarkable moment in our journey to create lasting transformation.”

Global Gene Corp is democratising healthcare through genomics by mapping and organising the world’s genomic diversity, overcoming the bias that 80 per cent of all existing genomic data come from people of European ancestry. 

In response to COVID-19, the company has expanded its genomics technology platforms, originally developed to enable large scale studies on human health to create next generation therapeutics, to include a multilingual contact tracing platform with mobility passports and individual risk evaluation.   

Roddenberry Foundation chief executive Lior Ipp said: “Gene’s vision was for big, bold ideas to change the world. This year’s prize invested in organisations able to move quickly and boldly in combating COVID-19, from spreading COVID-19 awareness to ‘last-mile’ populations to delivering online job training to contact-tracing and risk evaluation in genetic mapping.

“This year’s prize winners are extraordinary organisations  responding to humanity’s needs during the COVID-19 crisis and beyond.”

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