Human DNA has now become a commodity, with 23andMe — the world’s largest database of genetic code — serving as the “new frontier” for pioneering drugmakers.
British pharmaceutical giant GlaxoSmithKline recently purchased a $300 million share in the genlogy company, which promises to tell you your ancestry in exchange for your DNA.
The “merger” of the two companies will accelerate the development of “novel treatments and cures,” GSK’s CEO wrote in a blog post.
23andMe customers’ genetic blueprints may now be used in studies that will enable GSK to get new drugs approved and to market faster, the pharmacuetical company boasted in a press release.
Current reports state that 80% of 23andMe customers opt to share their genetic data, along with a survey about their lifestyle and health status, for research purposes,
Over 5 million people so far have submitted a sample of their saliva to 23andMe in exchange for a chance to receive healthcare and ancestry insights.