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.