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Google-backed genetics company to start making drugs

23andMe will be creating new drugs based on genetic information from customers.

23andMe, a privately-held personal genetics company backed by Google and based in Mountainview, CA, is getting into the drug business.

This week they announced the creation of a new therapeutics group and appointment of Richard Scheller, Ph.D. as chief science officer and head of therapeutics to lead it.

"With Dr. Scheller joining the team, we are putting significant resources into translating genetic information into the discovery and development of new therapies for our customers and the world," said 23andMe CEO and Co-Founder Anne Wojcicki. "This is a major step forward to realizing our mission to help people benefit from the human genome."

In December of last year, Scheller retired from a 14-year career as an executive at Genentech where he was the executive vice president of research and early development.

The therapeutics group aims to use human genetic data as the starting point for identifying new therapies for both common and rare diseases.

The creation of a therapeutics group in connection with 23andMe's research platform, which is currently the world's largest consented, re-contactable database, is a significant step forward to better understanding the biological mechanisms of disease and accelerating the discovery of novel treatments through human genetics, according to the company.

"I have dedicated my life to research aimed at fulfilling unmet needs for very sick people," said Scheller. "I believe that human genetics has a very important role to play in finding new treatments for disease. I am excited about the potential for what may be possible through 23andMe's database. It is unlike any other

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