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US drugmaker Pfizer Inc and home genetics firm 23andMe has clubbed hands to launch a joint research effort for decoding gene mutations associated with inflammatory bowel disease (IBD).
“We are hoping to have some meaningful genetic data within a year or two and that it might lead to either an improved therapy or a new therapy for IBD,” said 23andMe spokesperson Catherine Afarian.
23andMe, which was founded by Anne Wojcicki and supported by Google Inc in 2006, said that it is going to conduct a study involving 10,000 people with the hard-to-treat difficulty.
The researchers also examined DNA from their donated saliva samples.
IBD is a combined term to describe Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis which are painful debilitating inflammatory conditions in which the immune system attacks the bowel. The disease affects about 1.4 million Americans, according to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
According to the health researchers, there is no cure for either Crohn’s or ulcerative colitis but Pfizer is testing Xeljanz arthritis pill and four experimental drugs against both the health conditions.
Meanwhile, both Pfizer and 23andMe refused to reveal about their financial and collaboration details. It was also not revealed that whether the US drugmaker Pfizer would be able to enjoy license rights to develop the new drugs that target any gene mutations identified in the study.