What we do

Our Therapeutics team utilizes a wide range of expertise to conduct innovative research and development of novel medicines. Each of the groups below plays an essential role in supporting our mission to improve patient lives.

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Portfolio Management and Operations

The Portfolio Management and Operations (PM&O) team is responsible for the program management of our therapeutics portfolio and the operations of our overall Therapeutics organization. In particular, the PM&O team leads portfolio planning, therapeutic project management, early stage commercial and competitive assessments and the operations of the 70+ employee Therapeutics organization. In addition, the PM&O team leads alliance management and program management for the Therapeutics external collaborations.

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Computational Biology

This team applies computational methods to drug target identification and indication selection, as well as to the analysis of target biology and drug mechanism of action. We perform integrative analyses of data from 23andMe’s Research platform, functional genomics experiments, and other experiments performed in the Therapeutics labs to guide decisions to initiate and advance drug development projects.

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Target Discovery

Our group uses the 23andMe research platform to identify genes that could potentially express novel protein drug targets. These drug targets can be used to create therapies for treating patients with high unmet medical needs. The group works closely with the computational biologists and statistical geneticists in the Research Team to analyze genome-wide association study (GWAS) data. We work closely with biologists in the Therapeutics group to evaluate various target properties and to develop target validation plans. The group oversees the development of new drug discovery project proposals, contributes to biological experiments to support target validation, and leads preclinical drug discovery programs.

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Biology

The Biology group consists of scientists with expertise in immunology, oncology, cardiovascular disease, and metabolic disease. The group is tasked with multiple responsibilities, from discovery and evaluation of new drug targets to testing potential therapeutics for biological activity in the appropriate disease pathways. We design and perform a wide range of biological studies to progress our therapeutic programs from early stage research towards clinical development.

Our target evaluation work is carried out in concert with the Target Discovery team where we leverage our biological expertise to complement the genetic analyses coming from our colleagues in the Research Team.

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Antibody and Protein Engineering

The Antibody and Protein Engineering team consists of biologists, immunologists, structural biologists, and protein engineers. We design, engineer, and produce high quality therapeutic proteins to support target discovery and validation. We also focus our efforts on antibody discovery. We utilize a variety of techniques (e.g. hybridoma and phage display) to obtain antibody candidates as therapeutics or critical reagents. We study whether these discovered antibodies perform a desired function and often further engineer them to optimize their functions. We enable testing of our improved molecules by closely collaborating with Biology, Analytics as well as late stage Drug Development groups. We aim to deliver drug candidates based on their efficacy, potency, and safety to treat unmet medical needs.

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Analytics/Bioanalytics/CMC

Analytics, Bioanalytics & CMC (Chemistry, Manufacturing, and Controls) group supports the analytical and bioanalytical characterization of newly discovered targets and therapeutics for all research and early development programs at 23andMe. Our group utilizes various state-of-art technologies (e.g. LC-MS, HPLC, cIEF, MSD and etc.) to thoroughly assess the developability of therapeutic candidates, to perform bioanalytical assays (e.g. Biomarker, PK, ADA) and to collaboratively develop CMC strategies for the lead molecule.

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Development Sciences

The Development Sciences group bridges the discovery of new drug targets and the evaluation of these drugs in humans. We analyze and interpret biological samples derived from blood and tissues to understand pharmacokinetics and pharmacodynamics of therapeutic drug candidates. In addition, we use a variety of models to predict and evaluate the likely activity and side effects of our therapeutic candidates throughout the lifecycle of research and drug development.

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