23andMe’s DNA Library to be used for Drug Development

If you had your DNA tested by 23andMe (as I did), your information will be used to help develop new drugs for various medical conditions. However, not everyone is happy with the idea of using personal information for use in developing products by a for-profit company in a for-profit research project.

23andMe has partnered with pharmaceutical giant GlaxoSmithKline (GSK), in a bid to develop new drug treatments. 23andMe, which gives customers insight into their genetic makeup via postal saliva tests, has some five million customers — a potential DNA database considerably larger than those generally available to the scientific community. “By working with GSK, we believe we will accelerate the development of breakthroughs,” 23andMe CEO Anne Wojcicki wrote in a blog post.

In contrast, no data is more personal than your DNA. Peter Pitts, president of the Center for Medicine in the Public Interest, believes the companies should pay the 23andMe customers whose DNA is used in research. Speaking to NBC News, Pitt asked, “Are they going to offer rebates to people who opt in so their customers aren’t paying for the privilege of 23andMe working with a for-profit company in a for-profit research project?”

You can read a lot more in an article by Rachel England in the Engadget web site at: https://engt.co/2LotesV.

My thanks to Craig Olson for telling me about this article.

 

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