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GlaxoSmithKline acquiring a $300 million stake in genetic-testing company 23andMe
Posted by Erin Elizabeth | Aug 1, 2018
GlaxoSmithKline acquiring a $300 million stake in genetic-testing company 23andMe
Thanks to a $300 million payout to 23andMe, GlaxoSmithKline will soon have access to hundreds of thousands of people’s DNA. And there’s one reason: money. “On Wednesday, the genetic testing company announced it was entering a partnership with pharmaceutical giant GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) to develop new drugs and therapies. As part of the collaboration, the company will allow GSK to peek at the (voluntarily shared) genetic data of millions of people who have taken 23andMe’s DNA home testing kits.” 1 (Don’t think for one second that this won’t eventually become a privacy issue in the courts.)

Glaxo and Silicon Valley’s 23andMe said they will “tap genetic data to find new drug targets and better select patients for clinical studies”2 and the four-year collaboration deal will grant GSK exclusive rights to drugs developed with the help of 23andMe’s data.

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23andMe CEO and co-founder Anne Wojcicki said, “By working with GSK, we believe we will accelerate the development of breakthroughs. Our genetic research—powered by millions of customers who have agreed to contribute—combined with GSK’s expertise in drug discovery and development, gives us the best chance for success.”3

Customer payouts?
Part of what the company asks of its customers is permission to share their genetic data with outside sources for research purposes, and this is no different. And even if they had originally opted in, customers will be allowed to opt out.

But with the potential monetary windfall, shouldn’t the customers get a piece of the action too? Some ethics experts are certainly advocating for that:

“It’s one thing for NIH to ask people to donate their genome sequences for the higher good,” Peter Pitts, president of the Center for Medicine in the Public Interest, told NBC News. “But when two for-profit companies enter into an agreement where the jewel in the crown is your gene sequence and you are actually paying for the privilege of participating, I think that’s upside-down.” 4
However, as 23andMe uses and “shares its customers’ genetic data after it has been pooled together and stripped of any information that would allow anyone to trace back its origins to a single person,”5 that seems unlikely. Even though recently they asked customers for “added permission to share their individual genetic and self-reported data with outside sources for research,”6 it’s still unlikely that either company will share any of their profits with the very people whose data has made their profits possible. (Keep this in mind, even though 23andMe says your data is stripped of information that would prevent identification, it cannot provide a “100 percent guarantee that your data will be safe in the event of a breach.” 7)

Potential Insurance Woes
There are also concerns among experts about data leaks from genetic testing companies like 23andMe that might allow insurance companies to screen out people with risky or less than ideal genes. And they already have FDA permission to “explicitly market tests that promise to inform customers of their genetic risk for up to ten different diseases and conditions” and this last March they got approval for “a test that can tell people about their risk for breast cancer, based on the BRCA1 and BRCA2 gene.”8

Again, 23andMe has promised it will never intentionally share any “sensitive information” but I trust that about as much as I trust Snopes to be the arbiter of truth. And the company is already selling off other forms of data (like survey results) so it certainly seems plausible.


(Topic starts at 1:20)

The partnership between GSK and 23andMe will initially focus on an experimental treatment targeting a protein shown to increase the risk of developing Parkinson’s, thanks to 23andMe’s data on Parkinson’s patients, and should be able to get to the clinical trial phase much faster than if GSK had to find patients on their own. Something the pharma company sees as critical to their future strategy.

https://www.healthnutnews.com/...ing-company-23andme/
Hmmm Big Pharma now has access to your DNA! What could possibly go wrong?



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Posts: 6140 | Location: 18 miles long, 6 Miles at Sea | Registered: January 22, 2012Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Oriental Redneck
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I just can't believe so many people so enthusiastically donated their DNA to strangers.
 
Posts: 16701 | Location: TEXAS | Registered: September 04, 2008Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Shaman
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Donated?
Paid them to take it.





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Posts: 38542 | Location: Atop the cockatoo tree | Registered: July 27, 2002Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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quote:
Originally posted by ScreamingCockatoo:
Donated?
Paid them to take it.


Just thinking the same thing.


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Posts: 5411 | Location: Livingston County Michigan USA | Registered: August 11, 2002Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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I started a general thread about these services a few weeks ago. Articles like this and others I’ve read have me convinced that it ranges from a money-making scam to pathway to Big Brother. The information received back is vague and of questionable validity.

There is little or no “benefit” to the donor other than some trivial bullshit.
 
Posts: 7531 | Location: The Red part of Minnesota | Registered: October 06, 2002Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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And people think I’m paranoid....
 
Posts: 11344 | Location: Shenandoah Valley, VA | Registered: October 16, 2008Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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“It will never intentionally share sensitive information”,heard the same crap from James Clapper, didn’t work out to well there either.


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Posts: 5656 | Location: Republic of Texas | Registered: April 06, 2008Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Oriental Redneck
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quote:
Originally posted by ScreamingCockatoo:
Donated?
Paid them to take it.

Of course, we all know that.
 
Posts: 16701 | Location: TEXAS | Registered: September 04, 2008Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Wait, what?
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Anyone that didn’t at least consider the possibility that sending DNA to any entity is potentially a bad idea has a screw loose. Government, business, whomever.




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Posts: 9122 | Location: Martinsburg WV | Registered: April 02, 2011Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Logan's Run comes to mind for some reason.....


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Posts: 4997 | Location: New Orleans...outside the levees, fishing in the Rigolets | Registered: October 11, 2009Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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There is a big push by insurance companies at this time, to determine which customers are better risks.

I have a nephew who graduated from university four years ago who specialized in this field. Right out of school he was paid big bucks, more than I have ever made. Of course he is a self absorbed millenial, and now part of Big Brother.


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Posts: 2368 | Location: West coast | Registered: March 31, 2012Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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The part that amazes me is the younger generation that is willing to put up with a pat down to go to a sporting event, airport or anywhere else as well as going along with these "services" without giving it a second thought.

There will be no privacy or freedom in 20 years with this shit going on.




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Posts: 5707 | Location: Near the Beaverdam in VA | Registered: February 13, 2005Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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quote:
Originally posted by 95flhr:
The part that amazes me is the younger generation that is willing to put up with a pat down to go to a sporting event, airport or anywhere else as well as going along with these "services" without giving it a second thought.

There will be no privacy or freedom in 20 years with this shit going on.


Or dumb-asses that give permission for a police search of their vehicles...


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