Published 16 Oct 2017

Genomics plc today announced that it has entered into a collaborative deal with Biogen, Inc., the U.S.-based biotech, to work on multiple sclerosis (MS). Biogen is an international leader in drug therapies for MS, with the broadest MS portfolio in the industry.

In the collaborative programme, Genomics will use its platform and expertise to assess the genetic support for early-stage Biogen MS drug targets and to find novel targets.

“Genomics is delighted to partner with Biogen to help its leading efforts on drug development for this debilitating condition,” said Professor Peter Donnelly, Founder and CEO of Genomics plc, and an internationally renowned academic researcher in human genetics. “The combination of big data analytics with the growing volumes of human genetic data offers the potential to transform aspects of drug development.”

Genomics plc, based in Oxford U.K., specialises in the use of human genetic information to improve all aspects of drug development. Genomics has developed an integrated platform which quantifies the effects of over 7 million genetic variants on more than 1,000 different human phenotypes, which range from molecular measurements, through biomarkers, to disease outcomes. The Genomics database, the largest of its kind in the world, is based on studies of over 4.5 million participants. Genomics applies sophisticated in-house analytical tools, combining statistics and machine learning, to derive key biological insights which can underpin successful drug development.

“It is becoming clear that incorporating human genetic evidence can be extremely valuable in early drug development research,” said Biogen’s Dr. Sally John, VP Centres of Excellence, Research & Early Development. “We are excited about our partnership with Genomics plc; they are world leaders in the analysis of genomic data.”

“Our collaboration with Genomics plc should aid target discovery and help develop tools for treatment decision-making,” stated Dr. Richard M. Ransohoff, VP Neuroimmunology & Acute Neurology, Research & Early Development at Biogen. “I look forward to learning the results from these advanced analytical methods.”

MS expert Dr. Richard A. Rudick, VP, Value-Based Medicine and leader of Biogen’s MS PATHS network, added: “Understanding the biological basis for MS disease severity can ultimately help with our main goal – improving the lives of patients. This collaboration will move us in that direction.”

Financial terms were not disclosed.

About Multiple Sclerosis

Multiple sclerosis is a debilitating disease in which the insulating covers of nerve cells in the brain and spinal cord are damaged. This damage disrupts the ability of parts of the nervous system to communicate, resulting in a range of signs and symptoms, including physical, mental, and sometimes psychiatric problems. The disease usually begins between the ages of 25 and 50 and is twice as common in women as in men. Over 2 million people globally are affected by multiple sclerosis. There is currently no known cure.

For further information please contact:

Don Powell Associates Ltd
Don Powell
+44 (0)7786 858220
+44 (0)1223 515436