WALTHAM, Mass., Feb. 13, 2018 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The Accelerated Cure Project for Multiple Sclerosis (ACP) announced a collaboration with the Regeneron Genetics Center (RGC), a wholly-owned subsidiary of Regeneron Pharmaceuticals, Inc., that will sequence the entire exome region of all DNA samples in the ACP biospecimen repository. The exome is the protein-coding region of the human genome, which represents under 2 percent of the genome, but contains a majority of the known inherited genetic variants associated with all diseases.
The RGC will use its fully-automated sample preparation and data processing, and cutting-edge cloud-based informatics to sequence the exomes in DNA samples from the ACP Repository, an open-access research resource for qualified investigators with biosamples from over 3,200 participants. Sample donors include people diagnosed with multiple sclerosis (MS), neuromyelitis optica (NMO), and other related diseases, as well as control participants. The data will subsequently be returned to ACP and eventually made available to all qualified investigators for further studies, which can take advantage of the detailed patient information that accompanies each sample. This includes medical, epidemiological and treatment data and neurologist documentation of diagnostic and monitoring tests.
"This collaboration will enhance our understanding of the MS genome" said Robert McBurney, President and CEO of the Accelerated Cure Project for MS. "Whole exome sequencing will add valuable new information to the genome-wide 'risk gene' dataset that has already been generated from the DNA samples in the ACP Repository by the International MS Genetics Consortium (IMSGC). Combining this new genetic information with the extensive phenotypic information collected for each sample donor will undoubtedly lead to new insights on the causes and mechanisms of multiple sclerosis."
The RGC is a fully integrated and large-scale genomics program that spans early gene discovery and functional genomics. Scientists at the RGC will integrate data from the ACP Repository into their genetics-guided drug development efforts, which seek to improve patient outcomes by identifying novel drug targets, clinical indications for existing Regeneron development programs, and genomic biomarkers for pharmacogenomic applications.
About Accelerated Cure Project for MS
Accelerated Cure Project for MS (ACP) is a nonprofit organization whose mission is to accelerate research efforts to improve diagnosis, to optimize treatment and to cure MS. ACP believes that research is the only way to greatly improve the outlook for people with MS. The organization promotes scientific collaboration and accelerates research by rapidly and cost-effectively providing researchers with data and biospecimens they need to explore novel research ideas that can lead to better diagnoses, to new treatments and to cures for people with MS. Its resources have supported over 100 research studies worldwide that have generated over 1 trillion returned data points for collaborative data mining and disease modeling. Recently, ACP entered into a collaboration with BC Platforms AG for solutions to manage and grow its MS data repository, research programs, and research networks (see http://www.bcplatforms.com/news/bc-platforms-announces-collaborations-advance-research-multiple-sclerosis/). To learn more about the activities, and impact of ACP, please visit https://www.acceleratedcure.org/.
About multiple sclerosis
Multiple sclerosis (MS) is a chronic, inflammatory condition of the central nervous system and is the most common, non-traumatic, disabling neurological disease in young adults. It is estimated that approximately two million people have MS worldwide. While symptoms can vary, the most common symptoms of MS include blurred vision, numbness or tingling in the limbs and problems with strength and coordination. The relapsing forms of MS are the most common.
CONTACT: Sara Loud, 781-487-0032, [email protected]
SOURCE Accelerated Cure Project for Multiple Sclerosis