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article imageBiotech companies partner for Parkinson’s research

By Tim Sandle     Jan 12, 2015 in Business
The biotech companies 23andMe and Genentech are to work together on research into Parkinson’s Disease. The firms have entered a multi-year deal for the analysis of whole-genome sequence data.
The partnership deal worth up to $60 million, according to Forbes. With the arrangement direct-to-consumer genetic testing firm 23andMe is partnering with biotech giant Genentech to analyze whole-genome sequence data from around 3,000 people in an effort to find new therapeutic targets for Parkinson’s disease.
Parkinson’s disease is a degenerative disorder of the central nervous system. It is triggered by alpha-synuclein aggregates in the human brain that lead to loss of dopamine-generating cells. Symptoms include hand shaking or difficulty walking. Alpha-synuclein aggregates are presynaptic neuronal proteins that are linked genetically and pathologically to Parkinson's disease
In statement, James Sabry, senior vice president and global head of Genentech partnering said: “Genentech is dedicated to bringing forth treatments for patients with unmet medical needs. We are thrilled to be working with 23andMe and its diverse database of genomic data to support our research and development programs.”
Through the deal, Genentech will gain access to 23andMe’s extensive Parkinson’s disease community. Following the end of the multi-year partnership, 23andMe will be able to further analyze the data, and make it available to other researchers.
Last year, the personal genomics company 23andMe shut down its health prediction service upon the US Food and Drug Administration’s request, maintaining only its ancestry analysis.
In related news, Digital Journal has reported that a new strand of research shows that people suffering from Parkinson’s disease have a different composition of bacteria in their intestines compared with normal adults. A research group think that there is a causative connection.
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