Published 17 Oct 2018

Genomics plc, collaborating with Merck and other leading genomics specialists and drug discovery groups, provided analysis and data as part of a meta-analysis of phenome-wide association studies (PheWAS) that demonstrated the utility of genetic data to inform target validation during the early stages of drug discovery.

(Diogo et al. Nat. Commun. 2018; 9(1): 4285 DOI: 10.1038/s41467-018-06540-3)

The study investigated genetic variants from 19 different candidate drug targets. In total, more than 800,000 individuals from four separate biobanks were analysed and combined with data from 57 other genome-wide association studies, making this one of the largest published analyses of its kind.

The study uncovered several new associations, pointing both to potential safety concerns and to potential drug repositioning opportunities which, ultimately, should help to develop better drugs. The study – involving experts from 19 academic or private companies – exemplifies the power that genomic information can yield when both expertise and large datasets are combined.

Genomics Large drug target validation