23andMe Licenses Antibody it Developed to Almirall

Almirall, a leading global pharmaceutical company focused on medical dermatology, and 23andMe, a leading consumer genetics and research company, have signed an agreement allowing Almirall to license 23andMe’s biospecific monoclonal antibody designed to block all three members of the IL-36 cytokine subfamily.

IL-36 is part of the IL-1 cytokine family, which is associated with multiple inflammatory diseases, including various dermatological conditions. Almirall will secure the rights to develop and commercialize the antibody for worldwide use. The agreement will strengthen Almirall’s early-stage research portfolio.

Bloomberg reported that this was the first time 23andMe has licensed a compound that it developed in-house. The compound belongs to a class of large-molecule drugs designed to target a single protein in the body. That antibody is designed to block signals from a family of proteins that is associated with many autoimmune and inflammatory conditions, such as lupus and Crohn’s disease.

23andMe was interested in the antibody’s effectiveness to treat severe forms of psoriasis. It put the compound through animal testing, but it will still need to undergo clinical trials in humans. Almirall will further progress the antibody with the goal of taking it through clinical trials in humans and onto the market.

Hopefully, the antibody will be effective at treating at least some (if not all) autoimmune and inflammatory conditions. The press release about this licensing agreement states that 23anMe has millions of customers worldwide, with more than 80 percent of them consenting to participate in research. 23andMe’s Therapeutics group identifies novel targets using the 23andMe database, and generates lead compounds to those targets. It also performs preclinical research to support future clinical development.

Almirall’s Chief Scientific Officer, Bhushan Hardas, MD, MBA, said, “The partnership with 23andMe, a leader in genetics and biotechnology, gives us a unique opportunity to address the unmet medical needs in Immuno-dermatology.”

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Customers of 23andMe Can See Their Contributions to Research

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