Biotechnology company Genomics has signed a precision medicine collaboration with GSK to evaluate the potential use of polygenic risk scores (PRS) in clinical trial design.

The partnership is intended to enhance the understanding of disease risk and improve patient selection, thereby optimising the clinical study design.

Genomics develops PRS-driven technologies and approaches. The company is said to have extensive genetic databases and algorithms to comprehend the genetic elements of diseases.

In collaboration with GSK, Genomics aims to explore various applications of its suite of PRS-powered tools.

Both firms will work to use these tools to potentially minimise trial participants, shorten study durations, and enhance outcomes across proof-of-concept and pivotal trials.

Genomics founder and CEO Peter Donnelly said: “We could not be more excited to be collaborating with GSK on this programme. PRS-based approaches have the potential to support clinical trial design.

“Using PRS to get the right people into studies could have a potential positive impact, including in the reduction of trial size and timescale, leading to efficiencies in drug development.”

Genetic elements are known to significantly influence susceptibility to diseases, their progression, and how individuals respond to medications.

These come from myriad genetic variations, consolidated into a single metric known as PRS.

The partnership will investigate the potential of PRS-driven methods in aiding patient selection and discerning their impact on clinical trials, potentially by decreasing patient recruitment or trial duration.

GSK human genetics and genomics vice president Robert Scott said: “Genomics plc is leading in both the development and real-world application of PRS-based approaches, opening up new frontiers in genomic medicine.

“At GSK, we have demonstrated the opportunity for genetics to guide drug discovery and development; I look forward to working with Genomics plc to further explore the potential for PRS to support clinical trial design.”

Earlier this year, Genomics showed the integration and clinical utility of integrated risk scores combining polygenic and clinical risk of cardiovascular disease in National Health Service (NHS) primary care.