Bridging the gap between industry and academic research with Open Targets

April 2024

Share this article


MSD is pleased to be the latest partner to join the Open Targets Consortium, a public-private partnership that aims to tackle high attrition rates of potential new therapies in clinical trials, aiding MSD’s drug discovery efforts in London and globally. 

Research shows that clinical trials are more likely to succeed when the link between the disease and the drug target is supported by evidence from genetics and genomics studies.[1] By generating and interpreting the evidence that informs decision making in drug target discovery, the consortium helps bridge the gap between industry and academic research.

Joining other industry and research partners, MSD will support Open Targets to accelerate the development of safe and effective medicines by leveraging cutting-edge technologies to identify, prioritise, and validate potential drug targets.

MSD’s expertise in drug discovery, combined with the consortium’s comprehensive tool that optimises target validation, extensive research portfolio and cutting-edge informatics approaches to address all elements of human health and disease, enables a specific focus on immunology and inflammation, oncology, and neurodegeneration.

Founded in 2014, the partnership endeavours to share data, methods and knowledge generated by the consortium with the wider scientific community.

“We are pleased to join the Open Targets consortium and believe this unique public-private model will allow us to leverage large-scale genomics data along with advances in AI and machine learning, so we can better understand the underlying drivers of disease and enable more efficient target discovery,” said Iya Khalil, Vice President and Head of Data, AI and genome sciences, MSD Research Laboratories. “We look forward to working closely with our partners at Open Targets.”

  1. Ochoa et al. (2022) Human genetics evidence supports two-thirds of the 2021 FDA-approved drugs. Nature Reviews Drug Discovery, Rusina et al. (2023) Genetic support for FDA-approved drugs over the past decade. Nature Reviews Drug Discovery

GB-NON-09349 | April 2024