Thursday, March 12, 2015

23andMe hires former Genentech executive Richard Scheller

From Forbes Magazine, Matthew Herper:

In Big Shift, 23andMe Will Invent Drugs Using Customer Data

23andMe, the Google GOOGL +1%-backed personal genetics startup, will no longer just sell tests to consumers, or genetic data to pharmaceutical companies. This morning, it announced that it plans to start inventing medicines itself.

It’s not just talk. The company has hired Richard Scheller, who led drug discovery at biotech icon Genentech for 14 years before announcing he would retire in December, and who has won some of science’s top awards, including the Lasker Prize, often referred to as “America’s Nobel,” and the Kavli Prize.

“I wanted a new challenge, I wanted a new area of science to learn more about, I wanted to see if we could really take advantage of the full potential of the human genome and thought that this is the best place to do that,” Scheller says. He will start next month with the title of Chief Scientific Officer and head of therapeutics, and could eventually have a staff of dozens.