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23andMe has licensed an antibody it developed to treat inflammatory diseases to the Spanish drugmaker Almirall, according to Bloomberg

"This is a seminal moment for 23andMe," Emily Drabant Conley, the vice president of business development at 23andMe, tells Bloomberg. "We've now gone from database to discovery to developing a drug."

New Scientist notes that while this is the first time 23andMe has licensed a drug it developed, the University of Exeter's Tim Frayling tells it that more are likely to come. The Verge adds that 23andMe's customer database houses genetic data from about 10 million people, about 80 percent of whom have agreed that their anonymized data can be used in research. This collection of genetic and health information, it says, is "a gold mine for drug development." In 2018, GlaxoSmithKline signed a four-year drug discovery collaboration deal with 23andMe and made a $300 million investment into firm, giving the drug company access to 23andMe's database for research, as GenomeWeb reported at the time.

Bloomberg adds that this newly licensed compound is a bispecific monoclonal antibody that blocks the IL-36 cytokines that are linked to autoimmune conditions like lupus and Crohn's disease, and that 23andMe is particularly interested in its application to psoriasis. Under the deal, Almirall has the rights to develop and commercialize the antibody for worldwide use, Bloomberg says.