Six pharma companies plan to decode the genes of a half a million Brits for drug development

Jan 08, 2018

A consortium of six pharmaceutical companies are setting up what they hope could be a massive treasure trove of drug discovery possibilities.

According to a report in Forbes, the group, led by Regeneron Pharmaceuticals, plan to decode the genes of 500,000 UK residents and then release that information to the public.

The $100 million dollar-project also includes investments from Pfizer, AbbieVie, Alnylam Pharmaceuticals, AstraZeneca and Biogen.

Regeneron already struck gold when it took a gene-based approach to developing Eylea, a medicine that treats age-related macular degeneration. The company now hopes that by sequencing the roughly 20,000 genes from each volunteer and making that information available to scientists, it can set the stage for similar discoveries.   

The group will access the genetic information from the UK Biobank.

Read the full report in Forbes.