Mountain View, CA-23andMe, started as an innovative, yet simple, take-home DNA sample pack. After making countless headlines and recently receiving some significant FDA approvals, the company is focusing their efforts in a new direction. A direction that translates their massive archives of data into a world with more effective prescription drugs.

The CEO of 23andMe, Ann Wojcicki, is striving to make improvements in drug discovery with their data and to ultimately tailor individual drugs to individuals so they are more effective for each patient. Wojcicki recently spoke at an Innovation Festival hosted by Fast Company:

Most medications don’t work effectively for a lot people,” Wojcicki said. “Everyone in the room, I guarantee, has taken a medication and it didn’t work. Or had a severe adverse reaction, or it wasn’t a good experience…That’s exactly what we need to change.

Leading this change starts by taking a step back and thinking about how to harness this data and how other industries have accomplished similar tasks. Massive retailers have found their way into the mindset of consumer purchasing habits, yet healthcare companies still haven’t been able to find a significant usage for all of the data already at their disposal.

Wojcicki pictures a world where prescription medication bottles may have genetic details on the label. Through deeper digging into how consumers are actually responding to drugs in real life, she hopes that this world can soon become a reality.

About the Author:

As Managing Director of Innovation and Insights for Syneos Health Communications, Leigh is responsible for building and scaling a global team of healthcare experts who together help life science leaders better understand the complex lives, influences and expectations of their customers. Specifically, they uncover actionable insights that fuel empathy and creativity; lead co-creation events that let marketers learn from peers, trends, and new possibilities; and help clients identify the most valuable and useful new customer experiences to create.

Leigh has worked with Fortune 1000 companies to craft their digital, mobile, social and CRM strategies for nearly 20 years.She’s worked for category-leading agencies in retail, public affairs, B2B technology, and higher education. Prior to moving to Syneos Health Communications, she held several leadership roles at our largest agency, GSW.  There, she founded an innovation practice fueled by the zeitgeist and spearheaded digital and innovation thinking across the business.

Leigh has taken a special interest in complex healthcare products that can change lives in meaningful ways. She was recently a strategic lead on the 3rd largest launch in pharmaceutical history: Tecfidera. Before that she had keys roles with Eli Lilly Oncology, Abbott Nutrition, Amgen Cardiovascular, and Eli Lilly Diabetes.

A critical part of Leigh’s work is trends and new ideas. Every year, she convenes a group of trend watchers from across our global network to identify the shifts most critical to healthcare marketers. This year, she led over 250 experts to experts to focus on the most important changes in the commercial, consumer, marketing, digital and healthcare landscapes. (See reports at

Leigh is a sought-after writer and speaker. Recognized as one of the most inspiring people in the pharmaceutical industry by PharmaVoice and Top 10 Innovation Catalysts of 2017 by MM&M, Leigh also was recognized  as a Rising Star by the Healthcare Businesswomen's Association (HBA) for her overt passion, industry thought leadership and significant contributions in new business, strategy and mentoring.