MINNEAPOLIS, MN – May 4, 2017 – GWG Holdings, Inc. (Nasdaq: GWGH), the parent company of GWG Life, a financial services company committed to transforming the life insurance industry through disruptive and innovative products and services, announced it has completed its exclusive license with the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) for the “DNA Methylation Based Predictor of Mortality” technology for application to the life insurance and related industries.
The technology, invented by Dr. Steve Horvath, a professor of human genetics at the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA, provides life expectancy estimates based upon epigenetic biomarkers. Epigenetics differs from genetics in that epigenetics do not include changes to the genetic sequence. GWG Holdings announced previously that it had optioned the technology in November to begin developing a commercial application of the technology’s ability to deliver more accurate life expectancy projections for the life insurance industry. Since that time, GWG Life has been actively pursuing the commercialization of the epigenetic-based technology in what is called: “M-Panel” technology. The M-Panel technology measures the methylation of CpG sites identified by Dr. Horvath as biomarkers indicative of biological aging.
In February, GWG Life announced that it began collecting and analyzing epigenetic data from policyholders selling their life insurance. Dr. Brian Chen, the company’s Vice President of Research and Analytics, is continuing research on the relationship between epigenetics and aging. Dr. Chen is first author on the breakthrough study titled “DNA methylation‐based measures of biological age: Meta‐analysis predicting time to death” published in the scientific journal Aging.
Since Dr. Horvath’s discovery of the concept of biological age in 2014, Dr. Chen continues to grow more confident about the test’s correlation to an assessment of the aging process. “Many researchers who were once skeptical about its utility have been surprised at how well it works across different samples,” Dr. Chen said. “Even though we’ve only scratched the surface, epigenetics are already showing much more promise for assessing human health than merely looking at the genetic sequence.”
About GWG Holdings, Inc.
GWG Holdings, Inc. (Nasdaq: GWGH) the parent company of GWG Life, is a financial services company committed to transforming the life insurance industry through disruptive and innovative products and services. Already a recognized disruptor in the life insurance secondary market, GWG Life seeks to further transform the industry by continuing to create innovative products and services. As of December 31, 2016, GWG Life’s growing portfolio consisted of over $1.36 billion in face value of policy benefits. Since 2006, GWG Life has purchased over $2.3 billion in life insurance policy benefits and paid seniors more than $398 million for their life insurance.