Open Targets announced today that Genentech, a member of the Roche Group, has joined the consortium, which identifies, prioritises, and validates drug targets to accelerate the development of safe and effective medicines. The second company to join the industry-academic partnership this year, Genentech will collaborate with other consortium members including EMBL’s European Bioinformatics Institute (EMBL-EBI), the Wellcome Sanger Institute, GSK, Bristol Myers Squibb, Sanofi, and Pfizer.
Clinical trials are much more likely to succeed if the therapies tested are backed by genetic evidence. Open Targets was founded in 2014 with the aim of using the information generated by genetic sequencing and genomics studies to systematically improve the selection of targets for drug development.
Open Targets partners collaborate on innovative experimental and informatics projects, working pre-competitively to bridge the gap between pharmaceutical companies and not-for-profit research institutes. Using systematic, large-scale experimental and informatics approaches, Open Targets projects identify causal links between targets, biological pathways, and disease.
“Genentech is an excellent fit for Open Targets,” says Ian Dunham, Director of Open Targets. “Their thinking on the value of large scale genetics and genomics approaches in target identification and prioritisation is very compatible with the consortium, and we are already looking forward to working together on existing projects and developing more exciting new project in our focus areas.”
Open Targets addresses all aspects of human health and disease, with a particular focus on immunology and inflammation, oncology and neurodegeneration research. The partnership is committed to rapid publication to openly share experimental data, informatic methods and other knowledge generated by the consortium with the broader scientific community.
“Open Targets brings a team of multidisciplinary scientists together to work in partnership on projects that no one partner could do alone,” says Gosia Trynka, Experimental Science Director of Open Targets and Group Leader at the Wellcome Sanger Institute. “Welcoming Genentech into our community, sharing our research with them, and learning from their approaches will strengthen our exploration of new targets and biology that can lead to novel, safe and effective medicines.”