Why big pharma wants to collect 2 million genomes

Why big pharma wants to collect 2 million genomes

Five months after announcing its intentions to gather genome sequences from 2 million people, pharmaceutical giant AstraZeneca has selected geneticist David Goldstein to head up the task.

In an era of ambitious genomics projects, a ten-year-long, 2-million strong initiative seems a logical next step. But the pharmaceutical industry has a spotty history with genomics. Many companies invested heavily in the approach around the turn of the century, and some analysts now blame that enthusiasm for the spiralling research and development costs — and poor return on investment — that ensued. Well-stocked databases, the industry learned, do not always translate into well-stocked drug-development pipelines.

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