In an unusually exciting Thursday, members of the Color team participated in the Precision Medicine Initiative Summit at the White House to mark the one-year anniversary of President Obama’s Precision Medicine Initiative (PMI). Color was invited to join PMI to help advance cancer research and remove barriers to precision medicine.
John P. Holdren, director of the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy, opened the summit with several new announcements and awards for data sharing, genomics, provider networks and personalized care. Color Genomics joined leading organizations, including the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, Stanford Medicine, the Harvard Medical School and others in pledging to help deliver on the promise of precision medicine. In line with our commitment to PMI, Color is pledging to double the number of underserved individuals who receive the Color Test at no cost through the Every Woman Program in 2016. Color is also pledging to double the number of cancer centers that are Every Woman Program partners. Through these efforts, we hope to help remove barriers to precision medicine for people of all backgrounds.
Precision medicine enables healthcare to move from a world of averages based on a one-size-fits-all approach to one where each person’s screening and treatment guidelines are customized based on their genetics, environment and lifestyle. This progression will enable individuals and their healthcare providers to develop personalized screening and prevention plans, which can help reduce the chances of developing cancer and increase the likelihood that it is caught at an earlier, more treatable stage. This personalized care is the promise of precision medicine, which we hope to help fulfill by increasing access to actionable genetic information.
Consistent with our mission to democratize access to important genetic information in a responsible way, we believe that access should not be limited due to one’s background or economic status. When we launched Color in April 2015, we started the Every Woman Program to serve individuals who cannot afford testing but would benefit from learning their personalized risk of cancer. In less than a year, we have built partnerships with top cancer centers including The University of California, San Francisco, The University of Washington Medical Center, Penn Medicine’s Abramson Cancer Center and Morehouse School of Medicine to ensure genetic testing is available to all individuals, regardless of their financial status.
With today’s pledge and our involvement with PMI, we hope to further extend the impact of the Every Woman Program and help even more patients and doctors have information that can enable them to create personalize screening and prevention plans to more effectively manage risk and incidence of cancer.