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Clinical Insider
Clinical Insider

GSK looks at using polygenic risk scores in trial design through new pact

Posted by on 07 May 2024
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GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) has teamed up with UK-based health data firm Genomics to use “polygenic risk scores” to make clinical trials more efficient.

A polygenic risk score – or PRS – is a figure that combines a person’s genetic susceptibility to disease, likelihood of progression and response to drugs.

The partnership – financial terms were not disclosed - will explore the opportunity for PRS-based approaches to support patient selection. The ultimate aim is to reduce the number of patients recruited and potentially shorten the duration of trials.

Genomics’ CEO, Peter Donnelly, was upbeat about the role the approach can play in optimizing both trial design and patient recruitment strategies.

"We could not be more excited to be collaborating with GSK on this program. PRS-based approaches have the potential to support clinical trial design. Using PRS to get the right people into studies could have a potential positive impact, including in the reduction of trial size and timescale, leading to efficiencies in drug development."

Under the deal, GSK will investigate several applications for Genomics' suite of PRS-powered tools.
Robert Scott, vice president of human genetics and genomics at GSK, framed the partnership as part of the firm’s efforts to take genetic information into consideration when testing drug candidates.

"Genomics is leading in both the development and real-world application of PRS-based approaches, opening up new frontiers in genomic medicine. At GSK, we have demonstrated the opportunity for genetics to guide drug discovery and development; I look forward to working with Genomics plc to further explore the potential for PRS to support clinical trial design."

The agreement is not the first data-focused collaborations formed by GSK’s trials unit in recent years. In 2022 the firm teamed up with US provision medicine firm Tempus in a three-year deal to use artificial intelligence (AI) and patient data in clinical trial design.


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