23andMe appoint new Chief Science Officer and Head of Therapeutics.

Richard Scheller has come out of retirement, following his successful career at Genentech, to take up the position of Chief Science Officer and Head of Therapeutics at 23andMe.

“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.”

Scheller officially begins his duties in April 2015, building his own research and development team. With access to the world’s largest consented, re-contactable, database the team is well place to use genetic data as the starting point for common and rare disease therapies.

“I have dedicated my life to research aimed at fulfilling unmet needs for very sick people,” said Dr. 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.”

This is an exciting move for the company and the industry alike. They are likely to be the first therapeutic R&D team founded on genetic data, whereas most of their competitors are actively trying to integrate more data centric approaches into their own projects.

The full release can be found via 23andMe