23andMe enters clinical trial recruitment space: ‘We have a unique opportunity’

By Melissa Fassbender contact

- Last updated on GMT

(Image: Getty/ktsimage)
(Image: Getty/ktsimage)

Related tags: TrialSpark, 23andMe, Genetic testing

Through a recently announced partnership with TrialSpark, 23andMe has entered the clinical trials market – an area in which the direct-to-consumer genetic testing company feels it has the potential to grow.

23andMe is a personal genomics and biotechnology company based in Sunnyvale, CA, providing FDA-authorized direct-to-consumer genetic health risk reports.

The company recently announced its foray into the clinical trials industry via a partnership with TrialSpark, which helps community physicians establish clinical trials sites at their existing practices.

“23andMe constantly focuses on the room for improvement we see in the health care system overall. For clinical trials specifically, we saw the opportunity to improve the speed of the recruiting process through our engaged cohort of recontactable research participants,” ​Shawn Tedman, director of clinical trials business, 23andMe, told Outsourcing-Pharma.

“We have a unique opportunity to help connect people who may be interested and eligible for trials that may be a great fit for them,”​  Tedman said, adding that the company’s reasons for entering the clinical trial space aligned with TrialSpark’s mission, “which is all about improving the recruiting process.”

As part of this, TrialSpark also recently announced a multi-year collaboration with Pfizer to extend Pfizer-sponsored clinical trials to community doctors.

Speaking to the collaboration with 23andMe, Benjamine Liu, CEO and co-founder of TrialSpark, said in a statement that the deal is a “major step toward redefining modern clinical trials and accelerating the pace of medical discoveries.”

TrialSpark did not provide any additional comment.

In conjunction with the partnership, 23andMe and TrialSpark also announced a request for clinical trial proposals from sponsors interested in conducting Phase II or Phase IV clinical trials in dermatology, gastroenterology, pulmonology, endocrinology, ophthalmology, inflammatory diseases, neurology, women's health, and rare diseases.

“We are still in the early stages of our endeavor into clinical trials,”​ Tedman said.

“However, it is something we feel has potential to grow. Eighty percent of our customers opt to participate in research," ​he said. "This has allowed us to create a uniquely large platform of engaged research participants. As with everything we do, we will address these opportunities with the interest of our customers at the forefront.”

Related topics: Clinical Development

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