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Getting Them Sequenced

The UK is partnering with pharmaceutical companies to sequence and analyze DNA samples from UK Biobank participants, as GenomeWeb has reported.

GlaxoSmithKline, Johnson & Johnson, AstraZeneca, and Amgen are to contribute £100 million (US $123 million) to this £200 million effort that aims to help prevent and treat diseases like Alzheimer's disease and cancer, Bloomberg reports. GSK's John Lepore notes, according to Bloomberg, that genetically validated experimental drugs with genetic associations are more likely than others to become novel medicines.

"This project will help unlock new treatments and grow our understanding of how genetics effects our risk of disease," Health Secretary Matt Hancock says in a statement.

Open Access Government notes that this initiative comes soon after the UK announced new immigration rules to encourage top researchers to come to the country. In particular, the new rules allow international students who have completed a course at an undergraduate or more advanced level to work or look for work to gain early career experience, according to a statement from UK Research and Innovation.