Celgene joins Open Targets Initiative

Celgene will expand the Initiative's collective efforts to transform drug discovery through the systematic identification and prioritisation of drug targets

Celgene joins Open Targets Initiative

Open Targets

Open Targets is a unique, precompetitive public-private consortium. It was founded by the EMBL-EBI, GSK and the Wellcome Sanger Institute in 2014 to systematically improve the identification and prioritisation of drug targets that will lead to safe and effective medicines.

The latest collaborator to join Open Targets is Celgene, a global biopharmaceutical company with expertise in the discovery, development and commercialisation of innovative therapies for patients with cancer, immune-inflammatory and other unmet medical needs, which will enhance the offerings of the current collaborators GSK, Biogen, Takeda, the Wellcome Sanger Institute and the European Bioinformatics Institute (EMBL-EBI).

“The combination of academic and industrial expertise, focussed on the huge challenge of high quality drug target identification and prioritisation makes Open Targets a unique consortium. We are excited about bringing Celgene’s insight and expertise into the consortium and pursuing research together that will find the best targets for new medicines. Most importantly, we look forward to sharing our methods and results openly with the research community."

Rolf Apweiler, Interim Head of Open Targets and co-Director of EMBL-European Bioinformatics Institute

Many drugs that enter clinical trials fail and never make it to the market. This is an extremely costly and time-consuming process, with failure often arising because the biological target chosen is not well enough understood.

To address this challenge, Open Targets combines the skills, knowledge and technologies of its collaborator organisations, offering a critical mass of expertise that does not exist in any single institution. Large-scale genomic experiments (Wellcome Sanger Institute) and computational techniques (EMBL-EBI) developed in the public domain are blended with formal pharmaceutical R&D approaches to identify causal links between targets, pathways and diseases. This enables the collaborators in the consortium to systematically identify drug targets, and prioritise them for further exploration.

"“We are delighted that Celgene has joined our innovative public-private initiative. Their expertise and knowledge in specific disease areas will both complement and enable Open Targets researchers to explore a wider range of conditions with greater insight. The results of this pre-competitive partnership will be openly shared to benefit medical research worldwide."

Julia Wilson, Associate Director, Wellcome Sanger Institute

The freely available Open Targets Platform (www.targetvalidation.org) provides a user-friendly web interface for researchers working in many disciplines to investigate causal links between genes and diseases and identify and prioritise therapeutic targets for new medicines. The platform features over 20,000 targets associated with more than 9,000 diseases and has over 64,000 visits in the last 12 months.

Open Targets covers all aspects of human health and disease. The cornerstone of the collaboration is an agreement that experimental data and information gathered within the initiative will be shared openly, to benefit the broader scientific community. Open Targets welcomes new interest from companies and academic institutions that wish to accelerate the discovery of drug targets through open innovation.

Notes to Editors
Selected Websites
How are drugs designed and developed?FactsHow are drugs designed and developed?
Producing a new drug is an expensive and time-consuming process that is subject to extensive regulation.

What is pharmacogenomics?FactsWhat is pharmacogenomics?
Pharmacogenomics is the tailoring of drug treatments to people’s genetic makeup, a form of ‘personalised medicine’.

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