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News

ALS Therapy Development Institute collaborates with Allen Institute for Brain Science

ALS Therapy Development Institute : 09 April, 2008  (Company News)
The ALS Therapy Development Institute (ALS TDI) has entered into an agreement with the Allen Institute for Brain Science in Seattle, Washington, USA, for in situ hybridization (ISH) services using diseased tissues from a preclinical animal model of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis - ALS, or Lou Gehrig's disease.
ALS is a progressive and fatal neurodegenerative disease with no known cause or cure. Under the terms of the agreement, the Allen Institute will perform ISH for genes, in the spinal cord, identified by ALS TDI researchers as being associated with the disease's progression. The aim of this work is to identify cells that are associated with changes in gene expression so that treatments can be directed towards those cells specifically.

'The ongoing data mining efforts at the ALS TDI are identifying hundreds of therapeutic targets that need to be evaluated in vivo. Identification of cells to be targeted by treatments is a crucial step in therapeutic development,' said Steven Perrin, PhD, chief scientific officer of ALS TDI. 'The publication of the Allen Brain Atlas - Mouse Brain project established the Allen Institute as leaders in ISH technologies and capabilities.'

At the end of 2007, ALS TDI completed a database of transcriptome information for the SOD1 mouse model, the leading mouse model used internationally by ALS researchers. ALS TDI, a leader in translational research for ALS, has also initiated a similar project and experiment collecting blood samples from people living with the disease today and is expected to expand their collection project and experiments to include other tissues.

Through a multi-year funding partnership with the Muscular Dystrophy Association and its Augie's Quest Initiative, ALS TDI expanded its research programme to include the largest genomic research programme in the history of the disease.

'The goal of the collaboration is to determine exactly where in the spinal cord the genes associated with the progression of ALS are active,' said Elaine Jones, chief operating officer of the Allen Institute for Brain Science. 'Helping scientists worldwide accelerate their research programmes is central to our mission. We're thrilled to be working with ALS TDI to help advance ALS research.'

The first samples will arrive from ALS TDI to the Allen Institute in April 2008. A progress report will be provided as part of an annual Leadership Summit and research symposium hosted by ALS TDI in Boston, Massachusetts, USA, on October 20, 2008.
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