GlaxoSmithKline partners with University of California to spur drug discovery
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GlaxoSmithKline partners with University of California to spur drug discovery

In the world of healthcare, CRISPR technology (effectively, gene editing) is the next big thing. Now, pharmaceutical giant GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) is partnering with the University of California Berkeley (UCB) to leverage the latter’s expertise in the field and spur up drug discovery speeds. This month, GSK announced a five-year partnership to establish a laboratory (LGR) alongside UCB where state of the art CRISPR technology will be used to discover how gene mutations cause disease. GSK is hoping that these discoveries will lead to new tech that can “rapidly accelerate the discovery of new medicine.”

GlaxoSmithKline’s share price has risen by 5% so far this year

Glaxo June 18

Source: Yahoo Finance

CRISPR is the most powerful tool in an area called “functional genomics”. Functional genomics describes the study of the recent explosion of information from human genetics to understand why apparently small differences in genetic makeup can have far-reaching consequences for health.

Hal Barron, GSK’s chief scientific officer and president of research and development, said: “Technology is key to our innovation strategy at GSK, and CRISPR is one of the most important technologies of our time. With the expertise of Jennifer and Jonathan helping to steer the LGR, the mission of the lab is to advance our scientific understanding of the relationship between genes and disease to help find better medicines faster.”

Take a look inside the Laboratory for Genomic Research below:

Jennifer Doudna, a UCB professor of molecular and cell biology and chemistry, and a Howard Hughes Medical Institute Investigator, is one of the minds behind the project. She’s also a co-inventor of CRISPR technology. In a statement, she said:

“Over the last seven years, CRISPR has transformed academic research, but until the LGR, we haven’t had a focused effort to catalyse the kind of research we know will lead to new innovation using this CRISPR tool. LGR is about building that space where creative science is partnered with the development of robust technology that will help develop tomorrow’s drugs. I think we’re going to be able to do science that none of us can even imagine today.”

Disclosure

Dominion holds GlaxoSmithKline in its Global Trends Managed Fund.


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