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Our areas of interest

Strengthening our pipeline

We are leaders in Respiratory, HIV, Vaccines, and Global Health but what is coming next that will sustain growth for GSK, and how is the environment evolving?  We are shifting our focus to science related to the immune system, human genetics and advanced technologies. This will help us to increase our focus on specialty medicines in areas such as oncology.

Driven by a deep desire to develop truly transformational medicines we recently acquired TESARO, an oncology-focused biopharmaceutical company based in Boston.  This strengthened our existing oncology pipeline and brings new scientific capabilities and expertise that will increase the pace and scale at which we can help people living with cancer.

Making sense of data

Sequencing of the first human genome was completed in 2003 after 13 years of work costing $3 billion. Today we know of over 3,500 genes underlying over 5,000 rare diseases and over 35,000 genetic loci influencing more than 600 common, complex traits.

Medicines targeting mechanisms of action with strong human genetic validation are twice as likely to be successful1. Access to databases that can be used to assess the impact of genetic variation on human disease offers significant opportunities to improve drug development.


GSK is collaborating with 23andMe's unique database and statistical analytics to identify disease-relevant genes and novel targets. 23andMe currently has five million customers and growing, making it the world’s largest genetic and phenotypic resource. GSK will also be able to benefit from 23andMe’s ability to identify patients with specific gene variations in specific diseases, helping significantly accelerate recruitment for new clinical studies.

Open Targets

Through Open Targets, GSK can access world leading genetics, genomics and bioinformatics capabilities. GSK scientists use data integrated in the Open Targets platform to identify and prioritise therapeutic targets. Open Targets has contributed significantly to our early discovery and target decision making processes and has enriched everyone’s understanding of how to translate biology into discovering medicines.


Altius Institute is a non-profit research organisation which combines automated functional genomics, genome engineering (using TALENS - engineered nucleases, or “molecular scissors”), advanced imaging, and integrative computation. This combination helps to define fundamental mechanisms regulating genes and cells and connect these with human physiology, pathology, and therapeutics

UK Biobank

This major UK health resource aims to improve the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of serious and life-threatening illnesses by collecting data from individuals to determine why some people develop particular diseases and others do not. Half a million participants in the UK (ages 40 to 69 years) have agreed to have their health followed, by providing blood/urine/saliva samples and sharing detailed personal information.

Global health

Our focus is on diseases of the developing world, such as malaria, tuberculosis, enteric and parasitic infections.

Tres Cantos

Our specialist research centre at Tres Cantos in Spain concentrates on global health priorities like malaria and TB. We take an open approach and work closely in public-private partnerships, with groups including the Medicines for Malaria Venture (MMV) and the Global Alliance for TB drug Development (TB Alliance). Our findings are put into the public domain to encourage further collaborative research by the scientific community.

TB research

In the same way that we previously opened access to our malaria data, we are making TB data freely available to the public online to encourage a fully open approach to TB research, which we believe is the key to accelerating the development of new medicines.

Open lab for NCDs in Africa

We created the world’s first R&D Open Lab for non-communicable diseases (NCDs) where, from its hub at our Stevenage R&D facility in the UK, GSK scientists collaborate with research and scientific centres across Africa. They conduct research to increase understanding of NCDs in Africa, helping to inform prevention and treatment strategies.

WIPO Re:Search

WIPO Re:Search is a collaboration of private and public sector organisations sponsored by the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) in collaboration with BIO Ventures for Global Health (BVGH). This collaboration builds on the Pool for Open Innovation against Neglected Tropical Diseases and was the first effort to ensure IP did not act as a barrier to research for neglected tropical diseases.