American Heart Association, Verily Life Sciences and AstraZeneca Announce Winner of Innovative $75M One Brave Idea Research Award

Virtual Press Conference via YouTube Live Scheduled for Today, October 5, 2016 at 2:30pm ET/11:30 am PT

October 05, 2016 Categories: Program News

DALLAS, TX and SOUTH SAN FRANCISCO, CA, October 5, 2016 - The American Heart Association (AHA), Verily Life Sciences LLC (formerly Google Life Sciences), an Alphabet company, and AstraZeneca, today announced that the One Brave Idea™ research award will be granted to Dr. Calum MacRae, chief of Cardiovascular Medicine at Boston’s Brigham and Women’s Hospital, to support his visionary approach to understanding and addressing coronary heart disease (CHD) and its devastating consequences.

“After launching a global search effort earlier this year, we are proud to announce the selection of Dr. Calum MacRae as the leader of our One Brave Idea initiative,” said Nancy Brown, chief executive officer of the American Heart Association. “Dr. MacRae and his newly-formed, world-renowned, multidisciplinary team were selected from among hundreds of applicants throughout the world to receive this landmark award that will provide support over a five-year period for a research project focused on uncovering the causes of heart disease, including previously unrecognized signals marking the transition from wellness to the earliest, yet still largely invisible stages of disease.”  

"The vision for One Brave Idea was to create an innovative model for scientific research by bringing together significant resources and diverse organizations to support a single vision," said Dr. Jessica Mega, chief medical officer of Verily. "With our partners at the American Heart Association and AstraZeneca, we hope this initiative will inspire other new approaches to funding and catalyze meaningful advances for patients living with coronary heart disease and other conditions."

The AHA, Verily and AstraZeneca launched One Brave Idea in January 2016 as the largest one-time award to a single team to find a cure to end CHD and its consequences. In addition to receiving funding, Dr. MacRae and his team will have access to the combined expertise and resources of the three partner organizations, which include the AHA's medical and scientific prowess, Verily's technical expertise in device engineering, data analytics and software development for clinical applications, and AstraZeneca’s scientific insights and mentoring.

“AstraZeneca, AHA and Verily share a common purpose and passion for patients and science. We believe that this collaboration will ignite and inspire ideas, opening the door to find a big, brave solution,” said Dr. Greg Keenan, vice president and head of US Medical Affairs of AstraZeneca. “Dr. MacRae’s research not only has the potential to advance our understanding of coronary heart disease and its underlying consequences, but also allows us to combine resources to take a truly innovative and multidisciplinary approach in addressing cardiovascular disease.”

“I’m grateful to the AHA, Verily and AstraZeneca for believing in my research vision and showing their support by selecting our remarkable team as the recipients of the One Brave Idea award,” said Dr. MacRae. “The earliest indicators of coronary heart disease remain unknown, both on a genetic and molecular level. If we unearth and characterize novel markers in people genetically prone to heart disease or with early stages of the disease, we can potentially screen the broader population at a younger age to identify those same markers and discover preventative or pre-disease interventions that can break the cascade towards disease.”

LIVE Virtual Press Conference

Dr. MacRae and representatives from the AHA, Verily and AstraZeneca will be hosting a virtual press conference via YouTube Live, today, October 5, 2016 at 2:30 pm ET/11:30 am PT to provide additional details around One Brave Idea and the winning research project.

To participate in the press conference, click here. The presentation will be archived on YouTube following the event.

About the American Heart Association

The American Heart Association is devoted to saving people from heart disease and stroke – America’s No. 1 and No. 5 killers. We team with millions of volunteers to fund innovative research, fight for stronger public health policies, and provide lifesaving tools and information to prevent and treat these diseases. The Dallas-based association is the nation’s oldest and largest voluntary organization dedicated to fighting heart disease and stroke. To learn more or to get involved, call 1-800-AHA-USA1, visit heart.org or call any of our offices around the country. Follow us on Facebook and Twitter.

About Verily Life Sciences

Verily is a life sciences research and engineering organization focused on improving healthcare outcomes by applying the latest scientific and technological advances to significant problems in health and biology. By combining unparalleled capabilities in data organization and analytics services with robust scientific and product engineering expertise, Verily is targeting the dual objectives of creating tools and user-friendly platforms that capture a deeper and broader set of health data, and organizing the data so that it is useful and actionable. Verily partners with leading life sciences, medical device, and government organizations to leverage deep domain expertise and resources that enable exponentially faster development, meaningful advancements, and deployment at scale.

About AstraZeneca

AstraZeneca is a global, science-led biopharmaceutical company that focuses on the discovery, development and commercialization of prescription medicines, primarily for the treatment of diseases in three therapy areas – Respiratory and Autoimmunity, Cardiovascular and Metabolic Diseases, and Oncology. The Company is also active in Inflammation, Infection and Neuroscience through numerous collaborations. AstraZeneca operates in over 100 countries and its innovative medicines are used by millions of patients worldwide. For more information please visit: www.astrazeneca-us.com.

Media Contacts:

American Heart Association - Alex Barbieri,  (214) 783-7751, alex.barbieri@heart.org

Verily - Dan Budwick, Pure Communications, Inc., (973) 271-6085, dan@purecommunicationsinc.com

AstraZeneca - Michele Meixell, (302) 885-2677