Steven Pete can't feel pain. Timothy Dreyer has bones several times thicker than the average human. Both conditions were caused by a combination of genetic mutations. While both conditions have negatively impacted the men's health at various points in their lives, researchers at pharmaceutical companies are paying through the roof to have access to their DNA, and that of others like them. If the researchers can develop drugs that mimic the effects of the mutations, they may be able to create treatments to solve some of the most challenging disorders, according to an article published today in Bloomberg.
Take, for example, the pharmaceutical company Amgen. By looking at the effects of Dreyer's thick-bone mutation, they reasoned, they could find a treatment for osteoporosis. People with sclerosteosis, the condition that results from high bone density, are missing a protein that inhibits how thick bones can grow.