British drug giant GlaxoSmithKline has committed investment of USD 300 million in 23andMe in an exclusive four-year collaboration to develop innovative medicines using human genetics as the basis for discovery.
The collaboration will combine the leading consumer genetics company’s large-scale genetic resources and advanced data science skills with the scientific and medical knowledge and commercialisation expertise of GSK.
With over 5 million customers, 23andMe offers those with an interest in genetics the opportunity to learn more about their personal genetic profile. 23andMe customers can also choose to participate in research and contribute their information to a database, which is now the world’s largest genetic and phenotypic resource.
GSK and 23andMe will focus on translating genetic and phenotypic data into R&D activities that will improve target selection to allow safer, more effective ‘precision’ medicines to be discovered. The collaboration will also support identification of patient subgroups that are more likely to respond to targeted treatments, as well as helping to allow more effective identification and recruitment of patients for clinical studies, according to GSK.
The programme is expected to leverage 23andMe’s large base of consented customers who are aware of their LRRK2 variant status as a result of 23andMe’s FDA-authorised genetic health reports. GSK and 23andMe will also target and rapidly recruit patients with defined LRRK2 mutations in order to reach clinical proof of concept.