23andMe Inc. announced an agreement with Genentech, a member of the Roche Group, to generate whole genome sequencing data for approximately 3,000 people in 23andMe’s Parkinson’s disease community. The goal of the collaboration is to identify new therapeutic targets for treating Parkinson’s disease.
“We are incredibly excited to work with Genentech again, and for the potential to make true breakthroughs in therapeutic research and treatment for Parkinson’s disease,” said 23andMe president Andy Page. “23andMe’s research platform is unlike any other for fueling genomic discoveries that have the potential to help treat and solve disease. This collaboration is truly emblematic of both companies’ broader vision of improving the human condition through genetic research.”
This multi-year collaboration provides Genentech with the ability to identify potential therapeutics based on genome sequencing and survey data from the largest Parkinson’s disease community of its kind. Following the conclusion of the collaboration, 23andMe will have the ability to conduct additional research on the data, as well as the ability to make the information available to Parkinson’s researchers from around the world. Consistent with 23andMe’s commitment to the privacy of research participants, de-identified individual-level data will only be shared from those individuals who provide explicit permission to 23andMe to do so.
According to the Parkinson’s Disease Foundation there are an estimated one million people in the United States living with Parkinson’s disease. While there have been significant advances in Parkinson’s research, there is currently no cure or even treatments that slow the disease. Some medications can improve symptoms in some patients, but much more research is needed to identify more effective treatments that can slow or halt the progression of the disease.
“Genentech is dedicated to bringing forth treatments for patients with unmet medical needs,” said James Sabry, senior vice president and global head of Genentech partnering. “We are thrilled to be working with 23andMe and its diverse database of genomic data to support our research and development programs.”
“23andMe helps individuals with debilitating disease participate in research and make advances happen faster,” said 23andMe CEO and co-founder Anne Wojcicki. “I am thrilled about this partnership and believe this can help accelerate meaningful discoveries for Parkinson’s patients.”