23andMe Launches Its First Licensed Drug

January 23, 2020

23andMe, the most popular at-home DNA testing provider in the world, has just introduced its first drug licensed to a Spanish drug company called Almirall.

Blue and white capsules pill spilled out from white plastic bottle

The company previously collaborated with GlaxoSmithKline on drug development, but this is the first medication developed completely in-house. With data collected from more than 10 million users in its database, 23andMe had no problems identifying new drug targets to treat serious illnesses.

Emily Drabant Conely, 23andMe’s vice president of business development, told Bloomberg that the company intends to pursue other drug targets in the future and that it may even conduct its own trials rather than licensing to other companies.

Its first drug was designed to treat inflammatory and autoimmune conditions, such as Chron’s disease and lupus. The drug has been tested on animals, but it still needs to undergo human clinical trials.

The Almirall deal allows 23andMe to develop and advertise the drug for worldwide use. On the other hand, Almirall plans to target dermatological conditions with the drug, according to Bloomberg.

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