AbbVie, a global biopharmaceutical company, life-sciences startup Genomics Medicine Ireland (GMI), and WuXi NextCODE, a global contract genomics organization, has announced the launch of a long-term strategic alliance to conduct population genomics research in Ireland aimed at advancing the discovery and development of novel therapeutic approaches to a range of serious diseases. The 15-year collaboration will focus on major chronic diseases within oncology, neuroscience and immunology that affect hundreds of thousands of people in Ireland and hundreds of millions worldwide. Financial terms were not disclosed.
The alliance will result in the sequencing of 45,000 genomes from volunteer participants across Ireland to seek novel insights into the biological processes that underlie complex disease. AbbVie will use the research database developed by GMI to identify new molecular approaches for therapeutic drug discovery and development as well as to develop companion diagnostics. The alliance builds on AbbVie's substantial existing presence in Ireland, which includes more than 600 employees and investments of more than $130 million since 2013.
"Genomics is transforming the way we understand some of the world's most devastating diseases and enabling the discovery of new approaches that have the potential to deliver much greater benefit to patients," said Jim Sullivan, Ph.D., vice president, pharmaceutical discovery, AbbVie. "This alliance is an important part of our research strategy and complements our significant footprint here in Ireland."
Daniel Crowley, acting CEO of GMI, said, "This partnership validates the vision that created Genomics Medicine Ireland. With AbbVie and WuXi NextCODE we will leverage our deep expertise in life sciences and the unique characteristics of the Irish population to discover critical insights into disease, disease progression, and therapeutic response. The resulting therapies to cure and prevent these diseases will benefit patients both here in Ireland and around the world."
"We are very proud to be a part of delivering this pathbreaking effort," said Hannes Smarason, COO of WuXi NextCODE. "As the leading infrastructure provider for population precision medicine projects around the world, we are committed to bringing WuXi NextCODE technology and expertise to this significant endeavor."