Phenome-wide association studies across large population cohorts support drug target validation.
Diogo D., Tian C., Franklin CS., Alanne-Kinnunen M., March M., Spencer CCA., Vangjeli C., Weale ME., Mattsson H., Kilpeläinen E., Sleiman PMA., Reilly DF., McElwee J., Maranville JC., Chatterjee AK., Bhandari A., Nguyen K-DH., Estrada K., Reeve M-P., Hutz J., Bing N., John S., MacArthur DG., Salomaa V., Ripatti S., Hakonarson H., Daly MJ., Palotie A., Hinds DA., Donnelly P., Fox CS., Day-Williams AG., Plenge RM., Runz H.
Phenome-wide association studies (PheWAS) have been proposed as a possible aid in drug development through elucidating mechanisms of action, identifying alternative indications, or predicting adverse drug events (ADEs). Here, we select 25 single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) linked through genome-wide association studies (GWAS) to 19 candidate drug targets for common disease indications. We interrogate these SNPs by PheWAS in four large cohorts with extensive health information (23andMe, UK Biobank, FINRISK, CHOP) for association with 1683 binary endpoints in up to 697,815 individuals and conduct meta-analyses for 145 mapped disease endpoints. Our analyses replicate 75% of known GWAS associations (P < 0.05) and identify nine study-wide significant novel associations (of 71 with FDR < 0.1). We describe associations that may predict ADEs, e.g., acne, high cholesterol, gout, and gallstones with rs738409 (p.I148M) in PNPLA3 and asthma with rs1990760 (p.T946A) in IFIH1. Our results demonstrate PheWAS as a powerful addition to the toolkit for drug discovery.