Thursday, March 11, 2010
Eli Lilly and Co., Merck & Co. Inc. and Pfizer Inc. have joined in a precompetitive deal to study the
pharmacogenomics of Asian cancer patients. By jointly gathering molecular
epidemiology information on a large scale, they expect to optimize the return
on investment for all three players, although the ensuing drug discovery and
development will remain within the competitive space of each company.
Strength in numbers
Although the ACRG model could be applied
to other disease areas, Gilliland thinks cancer is an ideal starting point. "Genomewide
association studies show there are lots of modest effects in common diseases,
but in oncology there are alleles that are clear disease drivers," he
said. "Cancer is in the forefront because it's absolutely essential to
understand the genetics to predict response."
Even though ACRG will collect the tissue
samples and generate the corresponding pharmacogenomic profiles, any
analysis of the data will be carried out elsewhere-under the roof of Lilly,
Pfizer or Merck, or any other entity that wants to access the sample database.
Edelson, S. SciBX 3(10); doi:10.1038/scibx.2010.299
Published online March 11, 2010
1. Herbst, R. et al. N.
Engl. J. Med. 13, 1367-1380 (2008)
2. Osherovich, L. SciBX
COMPANIES AND INSTITUTIONS MENTIONED
Eli Lilly and Co. (NYSE:LLY), Indianapolis, Ind.
Merck & Co. Inc. (NYSE:MRK), Whitehouse Station, N.J.
National Cancer Institute, Bethesda, Md.
National Human Genome Research Institute, Bethesda, Md.
National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, Md.
Pfizer Inc. (NYSE:PFE), New York, N.Y.
Sage Bionetworks, Seattle, Wash.