23andMe To Share Genetic Data with Pfizer, Genentech for Research

January 16, 2015 in News

Personal genetic-testing company 23andMe has announced agreements to share users’ anonymized DNA data with pharmaceutical manufacturer Pfizer and biotech company Genentech, Vox reports (Belluz, Vox, 1/13).


23andMe uses saliva tests — which cost $99 each — to provide genetic testing.

Since the company was founded in 2006, 23andMe has tested data from about 800,000 individuals (Herper, Forbes, 1/6).

Details of Pfizer Partnership

Through the partnership with Pfizer, 23andMe is giving the drug company access to DNA data from 650,000 people who have had a 23andMe genetic test within the last seven years, according to Bloomberg. 23andMe will only share data from individuals who consented to allow their data to go to research. 

Data shared in the partnership between 23andMe and Pfizer will be used to:

  • Find targets to treat diseases; and
  • Design clinical trials.

Neither company has disclosed the terms of the agreement (Chen, Bloomberg, 1/12)

Details of Genentech Partnership

Through a separate partnership, Genentech has paid 23andMe $10 million upfront and will make up to $50 million in additional payments later to access information on about 12,000 patients in the 23andMe database who have Parkinson’s disease, FierceBiotechIT reports.

According to Alex Schuth, head of technology innovation and diagnostics business development at Genentech, the goal of the partnership is “to find new medicines for patients in a disease-modifying sort of way.”

The Genentech project encompasses topics not covered in 23andMe consent forms. As a result, patient permission is required for Genentech to use their information in research (Paul Taylor, FierceBiotechIT, 1/12).

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