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The state of California is launching a US$3-million precision-medicine project. The effort, announced on 14 April, will draw on vast amounts of data from basic research, medical records and other information to develop more-targeted therapies and diagnostics and inform decisions about individual patient care.

News of the plan, called the California Initiative for Advancing Precision Medicine, comes three months after US President Barack Obama unveiled a $215-million precision-medicine programme that will include a longitudinal study of around one million volunteers. It also follows similar initiatives in other countries, such as a British effort to sequence the whole genomes of 100,000 patients enrolled in the UK National Health Service.

Keith Yamamoto, vice-chancellor for research at the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF), says that the state has been working towards its precision-medicine programme for several years. “The broad demographics of the state, coupled with the enormous resources of intellectual capital and the entrepreneurial spirit that is embodied in the companies that are resident here, makes California a good place to do this,” he says.

The state plans to spend... see more