By Sy Mukherjee
June 14, 2019

Good afternoon, readers.

It’s always fun (or at the very least interesting) when the big names align in the life sciences. To that end, British pharmaceutical giant GlaxoSmithKline is teaming up with the University of California, Berkeley and UC San Francisco on a new drug discovery project fueled by CRISPR gene-editing, the groups announced on Thursday.

The five-year, $67 million collaboration has some real heavy-hitters lined up in the wings – including CRISPR co-inventor Jennifer Doudna of Berkeley herself, as well as UCSF’s Jonathan Weissman. Rounding out the trio is Hal Barron, GSK’s chief scientific officer who is attempting to shake up the long-standing drug maker’s R&D approach through partnerships with genetic testing firms like 23andMe.

This new endeavor will be dubbed the Laboratory for Genomic Research (LGR) and will enjoy a shiny new lab space for conducting research specifically aimed at using CRISPR for medicine discovery.

“Once fully established, it will provide facilities for 24 University employees funded by GSK as well as up to 14 GSK employees, with a focus on immunology, neuroscience, and oncology. GSK’s machine learning group will build computational pipelines to analyze the extensive data the LGR will produce,” the groups said in a statement.

Read on for the day’s news.

Sy Mukherjee


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