The year closed with the launch of 23andMe's first NIH funded study after receiving a NIH Small Business Innovative Research Grant (SBIR) to validate its web-based approach to pharmacogenomics research. The NIH is the largest source of medical research funding in the world. Through its support of innovative training programs and scientific projects, the NIH facilitates medical discoveries that lead to improved health and quality of life. NIH grants are highly coveted by industry scientists and academics alike. In addition to the funding itself, the NIH grant demonstrates support and recognition of our work by a leading governmental research agency.
The first phase of this effort is similar to that first PLoS research publication: to demonstrate that 23andMe can replicate known genetic associations using the web-based survey data volunteered by its customers, now numbering over 60,000. The subsequent pharmacogenomics project is distinct, however, in that collecting self-reported medication information via the web will present unique challenges. 23andMe recognizes that recall of medication use and side effects may be poor and difficult for individuals to accurately report. The use of multiple medications may also complicate efforts to isolate which medications cause specific responses or side effects. Still, the potential rewards are tremendous validation of a large-scale, cost-effective, and rapid approach for discovering new pharmacogenomic markers would be a significant contribution to personalized medicine.
As 2011 proceeds, 23andMe looks forward with excitement about receiving this funding for one of our top research priorities the advancement of personalized medicine through genetic studies and in the spirit of the 23andWe r
|Contact: Jane E. Rubinstein|