AstraZeneca is partnering with American biotechnologist John Craig Venter to incorporate genomics in drug research and development.
The goal of the company is to launch a widespread and comprehensive gene quest to uncover the potentials that genetic sequencing may have on discovering new medicines.
The efforts include partnerships with Venter's U.S. company Human Longevity, Inc., as well as UK's Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute and Finland's Institute for Molecular Medicine.
The company will also start an in-house facility for genomic research, which will create a database of genome sequences from patient sample donations during clinical trials and from other response data.
The endeavor entails sequencing up to 2 million human genomes, including 500,000 DNA obtained from clinical testings all around the world.
Genomics: The Future Of Medicine Development
AstraZeneca thinks that incorporating genomics in its research and development process will help bring out new ideas into the biological nature of diseases, allow determination of new focuses for drugs, aid clinical trial participant selection and enable patients to receive treatments that are most suitable for them.
"Using the power of genomics is the foundation of our ambition to develop the most innovative and impactful treatments for patients," says AstraZeneca's Menelas Pangalos.
Modern sequencing techniques and more refined data analysis have been developed. Now is the right time to engage completely in the international genomics scene via these pioneer partnerships and creation of own genomics center.
In the end, Pangalos says genomics is set to be a basic component in AstraZeneca's laboratory studies, clinical testings and presentation of drugs for patients.
In 2015, AstraZeneca also stepped up to expand gene trials into the fields of heart disease and asthma management.
The research results of AstraZeneca's innovative commitment will be published in peer-reviewed journals, adding to the scientific understanding of how genes influence diseases. This will give the company a significant role in the international scene of genomic research.