23andMe, Inc., a personal genetics company that helps people better understand and benefit from the human genome, recently announced a new partnership with Pfizer Inc. that will give them access to 23andMe’s research platform, which includes data of the genotypes from more than 800,000 individuals that consented to enroll in the study. From this partnership and data sharing, a lupus-oriented research project will be launched by both organizations.
The research portal developed by 23andMe allows qualified researchers to gain access to their data and have the opportunity to reinforce the company’s research model without risking the privacy or security of 23andMe’s customers. Scientists can now benefit from the most complete database of its kind by running queries in just a few minutes on more than 1,000 different traits, conditions and diseases. Through the accessibility of this information, investigators can identify new and unique associations between traits, diseases and their respective genes more quickly and accurately than ever before.
The agreement states that the companies will cooperate on specific genome-wide association projects, surveys, and even on clinical trial recruitment. One of this collaborations will be a longitudinal assessment to better comprehend the genetics of lupus. More than 5,000 people will have their genotypes studied and associated with medical records, and a new lupus research team will be established.
Andy Page, president of the company, stated in a press release: “23andMe’s Research Portal and custom research tools may benefit Pfizer by helping to understand some potential linkages between genetic traits and disease. By enabling genetic research on a larger scale, we hope to help our partners to speed the development of potential new therapies.”
This project and announcement comes just after the start of a recent collaboration between 23andMe and Pfizer that will enroll 10,000 patients suffering with Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD) into a similar study.
Jose Carlos Gutierrez-Ramos, Pfizer’s representative, noted: “The expanding collaboration with 23andMe provides access to a wealth of data. The better we understand the genetic heterogeneity of complex diseases, the faster we may be able to accelerate the pace of development for potential new treatments for the right patient sub-population.”