10 Updates

Glaxo Effort To Verify Gene Data Represents Step For Open Science

Mar 27 2014, 6:11am CDT | by

GlaxoSmithKline’s efforts to fund a 50-person effort with two top universities to verify that the proteins it is picking as targets for drugs are actually involved in the diseases the company hopes...

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17 weeks ago

Glaxo Effort To Verify Gene Data Represents Step For Open Science

Mar 27 2014, 6:11am CDT | by

GlaxoSmithKline’s efforts to fund a 50-person effort with two top universities to verify that the proteins it is picking as targets for drugs are actually involved in the diseases the company hopes to treat are a big example of the Big Pharma dropping its veil of research secrecy.

The new Centre for Therapeutic Target Validation is a collaboration between the London-based drug giant, the Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute, which is one of the top genetics research hotspots in the world, and the European Bioinformatics Institute. The effort will take a “Big Data” approach to pooling genetic data and other information to pick drug targets.

“[Glaxo are] providing people and expertise based analysts with this incredible wealth of expertise,” says Ewan Birney, who will be the interim head of the center. “They’ve been doing this for a long time and the’ve had successes and they’ve had failures and, in some sense, they’ll be bringing those into the public domain. I’ve been surprised at how engaged GSK has been scientifically and how interesting this problem is to handle.”

Almost all medicines work by blocking or otherwise affecting specific proteins. For instance, statin drugs like Lipitor block an enzyme in the liver that helps the body create cholesterol; aspirin blocks enzymes involved in causing inflammation and clotting blood.

But one big problem for drug researchers is that they often aren’t sure they understand what the proteins they are targeting with experimental medicines do. Problems in the quality of public research, which can be wrong, can make this worse. This project hopes that big data — looking at information and especially human genetics — can make the odds of success for new medicines better.

Patrick Vallance, who heads basic research at GSK, says that in the past ten years genetics has gone from being “quite misleading” to “high throughput” and “reliable.”

“Every week there are something like three new rare genetic mutations causing a very rare disease are being identified,” says Vallance. “Every week there is new data coming up on common disease genetic variations. What that does is it creates massive information that is truly about human biology. All of a sudden you get a window into things that are genuinely causal across a range of diseases.”

Of course, fifteen years ago drug company research executives, including those at Glaxo, made similar claims about the sequencing of the human genome and the data produced by a slew of hot gene data companies. That led to a great many failures, some of which took years to read out. For Glaxo, the reminders of its deals with Human Genome Sciences are recent: the lupus drug Benlysta, which worked but has not generated much in the way of sales, and darapladib, a much hyped heart drug that recently failed in a big trial and that also, it turned out, had the unfortunate side effect of making patients smell bad.

But Vallance provides a strong argument that things are different this time. Creating drugs has always been about finding the right proteins to target, he says. Now genetics has become the best way to do that.

Birney insists that genetics provides something that other methods of biology don’t. When you look at a person’s genes, they’ll be for the most part the same throughout life. So when a gene is linked to a disease, it gives a real clue as to how the biology of a disease works. That’s how rare mutations that cause super-high cholesterol led to the cholesterol-lowering statins, and that’s how Birney and Vallance hope that this effort will lead to new drugs.

It used to be that drug companies tried to keep much of their biology research in-house and secret, so that they would start synthesizing promising new compounds before competitors. But this effort puts a lot more of Glaxo’s research out in the open. The bet is that the advantages of having lots of minds working on the problems of drug discovery will outweigh any advantages that secrecy would have provided.

Source: Forbes Business

 
Update
10

7 weeks ago

RM47mil KWSG contributions still unclaimed

Jun 9 2014 7:54am CDT | Source: Business Times Malaysia

KUALA LUMPUR: About RM47 million of contributions in the Teachers Provident Fund (KWSG) still remain unclaimed, the Dewan Rakyat w ...
Source: Business Times Malaysia   Full article at: Business Times Malaysia
 

 
Update
9

7 weeks ago

Gold shop lost almost RM1mil

Jun 9 2014 3:50am CDT | Source: Business Times Malaysia

KANGAR: A gold shop owner lost almost RM1 million after after the safe on in his shop was broken into b ...
Source: Business Times Malaysia   Full article at: Business Times Malaysia
 

 
Update
8

7 weeks ago

Motion to debate MAS losses in Dewan Rakyat rejected

Jun 9 2014 3:39am CDT | Source: Business Times Malaysia

KUALA LUMPUR: AN emergency motion to debate the losses incurred by Malaysia Airlines last year, amounting to RM1.2 billion was rejecte ...
Source: Business Times Malaysia   Full article at: Business Times Malaysia
 

 
Update
7

7 weeks ago

MH370 Tragedy: Hisham: RM27.6 mil spent on 1st phase of SAR

Jun 9 2014 2:11am CDT | Source: Business Times Malaysia

KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia spent some RM27.6 million in its first phase of the search operations for missing Malaysia Airline flight MH370, said Acting Transport Minister, Datuk Seri Hishammu ...
Source: Business Times Malaysia   Full article at: Business Times Malaysia
 

 
Update
6

7 weeks ago

9.1m litres of diesel seized in a month

Jun 8 2014 1:11am CDT | Source: Business Times Malaysia

PUTRAJAYA: The Domestic Trade, Cooperatives, and Consumerism ministry has seized some 9.1 million litres of diesel and property worth RM58 million since mounting ‘Operasi Diesel Selatan’ in the southern states ...
Source: Business Times Malaysia   Full article at: Business Times Malaysia
 

 
Update
5

7 weeks ago

Girl, 9, awarded RM2.78m compensation for medical negligence

Jun 6 2014 4:56am CDT | Source: Business Times Malaysia

KUALA LUMPUR: A nine-year-old girl who suffered brain damage during her birth at a government hospital was awarded over RM2.78 million in co ...
Source: Business Times Malaysia   Full article at: Business Times Malaysia
 

 
Update
4

7 weeks ago

Malaysia's total trade in April up 12pc

Jun 5 2014 11:52pm CDT | Source: Business Times Malaysia

KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia's total trade in April 2014 rose by 12 per cent from a year ago to RM123.86 billion due to growing trading activities, International Trade and Industry Minister Datuk Seri M ...
Source: Business Times Malaysia   Full article at: Business Times Malaysia
 

 
Update
3

7 weeks ago

Works Ministry to spend RM20m for upgrading works at 50 accident black spots

Jun 4 2014 11:35pm CDT | Source: Business Times Malaysia

JOHOR BARU: The Works Ministry will implement upgrading works at 50 accident prone locations in the country that have been identified this year involving an allocat ...
Source: Business Times Malaysia   Full article at: Business Times Malaysia
 

 
Update
2

7 weeks ago

Najib launches loan scheme for Ramadan traders

Jun 4 2014 10:24pm CDT | Source: Business Times Malaysia

PUTRAJAYA: Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak today launches RM45 million Ramada ...
Source: Business Times Malaysia   Full article at: Business Times Malaysia
 

 
Update
1

7 weeks ago

Residents bring up objection against Kidex to Suhakam

Jun 4 2014 4:49am CDT | Source: Business Times Malaysia

PETALING JAYA: A group of 20 Petaling Jaya residents held a meeting with the Human Rights Commission of Malaysia (Suhakam) over their objection against the proposed RM2.2 billion Kinrar ...
Source: Business Times Malaysia   Full article at: Business Times Malaysia
 

 

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