The pharma company GlaxoSmithKline will team with 23andMe on developing new drugs, it said in a statement.
What: The $300 million investment in 23andMe shows how drug companies are betting on human genetics to decide what medicines to pursue. Hal Barron, Glaxo’s R&D boss, said the deal was part of an effort to speed up the drug search.
The database: It’s huge and getting bigger. 23andMe has DNA data on more than five million people, which it collected by selling them ancestry and health tests.
The business model: 23andMe has been looking to parlay its gene bank into drugs for a while now. It has other partners, like Pfizer, but this investment is the largest so far.
Richard Scheller, head of 23andMe’s drug team, described his company’s efforts as “nascent.” It does not yet have a drug in human testing, for example.
Treating brains: The companies said one of their first projects would be to develop a drug for Parkinson’s disease.
Saudi Arabia plans to spend $1 billion a year discovering treatments to slow aging
The oil kingdom fears that its population is aging at an accelerated rate and hopes to test drugs to reverse the problem. First up might be the diabetes drug metformin.
Anti-aging drugs are being tested as a way to treat covid
Drugs that rejuvenate our immune systems and make us biologically younger could help protect us from the disease’s worst effects.
Why China is still obsessed with disinfecting everything
Most public health bodies dealing with covid have long since moved on from the idea of surface transmission. China’s didn’t—and that helps it control the narrative about the disease’s origins and danger.
A new storage technique could vastly expand the number of livers available for transplant
It allows donor livers to be held for days—significantly longer than the standard now–and even treated if they are damaged.
Get the latest updates from
MIT Technology Review
Discover special offers, top stories, upcoming events, and more.