Bloomberg reported that genetic testing company 23andMe has granted in-house drug rights to a Spanish pharmaceutical company. 23andMe has previously shared genetic data with pharmaceutical companies. GlaxoSmithKline has exclusive rights to use its data for drug development and earned $300 million in the company in 2018. But the deal is the first time the company has created products from genetic information collected from users and sold them directly to third parties.
(Pictured: 23andMe, via TheVerge)
It is reported that 23andMe pre-determined a candidate drug, and before the sale of the drug in-house animal research. After that, the Spanish company Almirall will try to pass human trials in the hope of eventually bringing the drug to market.
Emily Drabant Conley, vice president of business development at 23andMe, said in an interview that the company has gone from database, exploring to developing drugs.
Genetic and health databases are seen as a gold mine for drug development, as researchers can look for links between specific genes and health outcomes, leading to therapeutic purposes.
23andMe currently has genetic data for about 10 million people and says about 80 percent agree to use its anonymous data for purposes including drug research.
In the company’s terms of service, users will not see any financial benefit — even if their data plays a key role in the development of heavy-duty drugs.
The drug sold to Almirall by 23andMe is a molecule that blocks signals from small proteins associated with autoimmune diseases.
It targets this compound in the treatment of psoriasis as an autoimmune disease that causes skin redness or scaly form.
Finally, 23andMe said it would continue to develop other drugs and use them in clinical trials.