23andMe venturing into business of recruiting patients for clinical trials

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Image: Michael Vi/Shutterstock

Consumer genetics giant 23andMe announced [September 26] that it would move deeper into the business of clinical trial recruitment, partnering with a fast-growing startup to help match its customers with nearby study sites based on their diseases, demographics, and DNA.

The Silicon Valley company has for months been quietly making inroads into clinical trial recruitment by emailing customers who’ve opted in with recommendations about studies that might be appropriate for them.

But the new partnership with TrialSpark, which offers a tech-powered alternative to traditional contract research organizations, may help 23andMe address one of the biggest challenges in clinical trial recruitment: geography. The idea is that patients who want to enroll in a clinical trial centered out of, say, Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, won’t have to fly to New York and can instead participate by visiting their local doctor’s office.

Related article:  Viewpoint: Why the West should worry about losing the gene-editing race

That could hold significant appeal for some customers. Not only can the company’s spit kits find disease risks lurking in their genes — but they may also be a route to accessing experimental drugs and cutting-edge research that could potentially help them and others with their condition.

Read full, original post: 23andMe, moving beyond consumer DNA tests, is building a clinical trial recruitment business

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