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

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.

More information

Selected websites

  • Open Targets

    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. www.opentargets.org

  • Celgene

    Celgene Corporation, headquartered in Summit, New Jersey, is an integrated global biopharmaceutical company engaged primarily in the discovery, development and commercialization of innovative therapies for the treatment of cancer and inflammatory diseases through next-generation solutions in protein homeostasis, immuno-oncology, epigenetics, immunology and neuro-inflammation. For more information, please visit www.celgene.com. Follow Celgene on Social Media: @Celgene, Pinterest, LinkedIn, Facebook and YouTube.

  • Biogen

    At Biogen, our mission is clear: we are pioneers in neuroscience. Biogen discovers, develops, and delivers worldwide innovative therapies for people living with serious neurological and neurodegenerative diseases. Founded in 1978 as one of the world’s first global biotechnology companies by Charles Weissmann, Heinz Schaller, Kenneth Murray and Nobel Prize winners Walter Gilbert and Phillip Sharp, today Biogen has the leading portfolio of medicines to treat multiple sclerosis; has introduced the first and only approved treatment for spinal muscular atrophy; and is focused on advancing neuroscience research programs in Alzheimer’s disease and dementia, multiple sclerosis and neuroimmunology, movement disorders, neuromuscular disorders, pain, ophthalmology, neuropsychiatry, and acute neurology. Biogen also manufactures and commercializes biosimilars of advanced biologics. We routinely post information that may be important to investors on our website at www.biogen.com. To learn more, please visit www.biogen.com and follow us on social media: Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook, YouTube.

  • The EMBL-European Bioinformatics Institute (EMBL-EBI)

    The European Bioinformatics Institute (EMBL-EBI) is a global leader in the storage, analysis and dissemination of large biological datasets. EMBL-EBI helps scientists realise the potential of ‘big data’ by enhancing their ability to exploit complex information to make discoveries that benefit humankind. EMBL-EBI is at the forefront of computational biology research, with work spanning sequence analysis methods, multi-dimensional statistical analysis and data-driven biological discovery, from plant biology to mammalian development and disease. We are part of the European Molecular Biology Laboratory (EMBL), and are located on the Wellcome Genome Campus, one of the world’s largest concentrations of scientific and technical expertise in genomics. www.ebi.ac.uk

  • GSK

    GSK – a science-led global healthcare company with a special purpose: to help people do more, feel better, live longer. For further information please visit: www.gsk.com

  • Takeda Pharmaceutical Company Limited

    Takeda Pharmaceutical Company Limited is a global, research and development-driven pharmaceutical company committed to bringing better health and a brighter future to patients by translating science into life-changing medicines. Takeda focuses its R&D efforts on oncology, gastroenterology and central nervous system therapeutic areas plus vaccines. Takeda conducts R&D both internally and with partners to stay at the leading edge of innovation. New innovative products, especially in oncology and gastroenterology, as well as Takeda’s presence in Emerging Markets, are currently fueling the growth of Takeda. More than 30,000 Takeda employees are committed to improving quality of life for patients, working with Takeda’s partners in health care in more than 70 countries. www.takeda.com

  • The Wellcome Sanger Institute

    The Wellcome Sanger Institute is one of the world's leading genome centres. Through its ability to conduct research at scale, it is able to engage in bold and long-term exploratory projects that are designed to influence and empower medical science globally. Institute research findings, generated through its own research programmes and through its leading role in international consortia, are being used to develop new diagnostics and treatments for human disease. To celebrate its 25th year in 2018, the Institute is sequencing 25 new genomes of species in the UK. Find out more at www.sanger.ac.uk or follow @sangerinstitute