A Personal genetics firm is in the process of forming a research unit which will be utilizing their database containing health information. This information’s will be used for researching to find out possible cures for a wide range of diseases.
What is the research group all about?
The new research group of the personal genetic firm has already been assigned to a head and is expected to start the recruitment of the scientists in the following month. This research unit is expected to be using the genetic data, which will help them in identifying and finding out new cures and therapies for rare as well as most common diseases. Reports suggest that nearly 875000 customers of 23andMe have already agreed to share their medical information for the purpose of conducting the medical research. This nearly contributes to around 85% of the total customers of 23andMe.
The company is expected to eventually share their medical data and findings with drug companies. However, more details have still not been disclosed. Reports also suggest that 23andMe has already made deals with nearly 14 pharmaceutical companies. This deal enables them to access most of the medical information of the customers and patients of these companies through their database. It is expected that former VP of research at Genentech Dr Richard Scheller, will be heading up this new research unit. The research unit is hoping that genetic and other mutation information available in the medical database is able to shed light on potential drug targets for a given range of diseases. They further added that they need to find out as to why some of the people are unable to develop diseases due to the presence of a healthy range of mutated genes. According to Dr Richard Scheller, he has dedicated his entire life to finding cure for sick people. He further added that human genetics will always play a very significant role in finding treatments for many unknown diseases. At present nobody understands the potential of the findings that can be expected out the new research unit.
Ban from Food and Drug Administration:
The company has been able to get attention from nearly half a million customers post their launch in 2007. Under this program, the users have the option to pay for a $99 test for testing their saliva for getting a health report and to find out about the potential genetic conditions they might be prone to. However, this attempt drew a lot of negative vibes and became controversial. The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) regulator in November 2013 ordered the experiment to be stopped from selling out the testing kits. They added that the company has failed to comply with the notice sent by the FDA to provide additional information pertaining to the test kits. Although the FDA allowed the health kits to be sold solely for non-medical purposes. Reports also suggest that FDA has recently approved the medical kit as it was able to find if a person is carrying any rare genetic mutation for a rare disorder called as the Bloom syndrome.