Nonetheless, he said, drug companies would only be allowed access to the data in a tightly controlled way, describing the project as "more like a reading library than a lending library".
Martin Mackay, head of research and development at Alexion, a US biotech company taking part in the consortium, said the scheme had the potential to "accelerate the understanding of the genetic basis of rare diseases and ultimately lead to improved diagnostics and treatments".
The other members of the alliance — called the Gene Consortium — are UCB of Belgium, Takeda of Japan, and Dimension Therapeutics and Helomics of the US.
Genomics England will also announce partnerships with scientists and academic institutions in another move to make its database available to researchers.
The 100,000 Genomes Project is part of efforts by the government to use the NHS and its wealth of medical data to attract international medical research and life sciences investment.
Sir John is a veteran of the software and engineering industries who oversaw the privatisation of Qinetiq, the government's defence technology service business.
"I spent a large amount of my working life in the microelectronic revolution which [changed] the 20th century," he told the Financial Times. "Genetics [is] going to change the world in the 21st century."
Genomics England could play an important role, he added, in the shift towards more personalised medicines to tackle the genetic defects of individual patients.
"We will look back on how we used to pour pills down our necks as being not much different to how we look back on bleeding someone who has a fever."
Another large genomic database has been built by 23andMe, a Google-backed Californian company that sells $99 DNA testing kits.
But the 100,000 Genomes project promises a much richer resource because, unlike 23andMe, it is sequencing whole genomes rather than just fragments.