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Pfizer, 23andMe Launch Lupus Research Study

Thursday, May 7, 2015   (0 Comments)
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From Pharmaceutical Business Review

US-based biotechnology firm 23andMe and Pfizer have entered into collaboration to carry out the lupus research study.

Around 5,000 individuals with systemic lupus erythematosus (lupus) will be enrolled in the trial to help better understand the genetics of lupus.

Also involved in this collaboration is Lupus Research Institute, a private supporter of new research in lupus, pioneers discovery and champions scientific creativity.

Lupus Research Institute president and CEO Margaret Dowd said: "Lupus is an unpredictable and devastating disease for which the treatments can be as debilitating as the disease itself.

"Research on human genetics has enormous potential to deliver information that can help improve lupus treatment. The more insights that researchers can gain, the faster safer drugs can be developed."

In the US, around 1.5 million people suffer from lupus, an autoimmune disease in which the immune system can attack the normal, healthy tissues of the body almost anywhere.

23andMe co-founder and CEO Anne Wojcicki said: "The ability to effectively personalize treatments for lupus patients is limited, due in large part to our incomplete understanding of the disease.

"We hope to change that by studying human genetics alongside environmental and health history factors to ultimately help inform better treatment options for lupus patients."

Apart from genetic information and survey questions, 23andMe will incorporate data from participants' medical records into this research study after securing their consent.

The secured data will be used in the analysis of longitudinal surveys with participants over the course of one year.

Pfizer head of Research & Development Innovation Projects, BioTherapeutics Research & Development Belen Carrillo-Rivas said: "Pfizer is committed to bringing forward new treatments for patients suffering from lupus.

"By enhancing our understanding of the underlying biology of the disease, we hope to better support our clinical research activities and development programs."

The trial is designed to uncover possible underlying genetic causes of lupus, specifically those associated with the onset, progression, severity and response to treatments for lupus.

As part of the collaboration, 23andMe will enrol new participants in the lupus study and also conduct outreach to existing customers, who once determined eligible, will be required to provide consent to participate in this new project.

[Read article online]

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