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Thomson Reuters Partners with CHDI Foundation to Develop Systems Biology Tools for Huntington's Disease

PHILADELPHIA, July 26, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- The Intellectual Property & Science business of Thomson Reuters, the world's leading source of intelligent information for businesses and professionals, today announced a partnership with CHDI Foundation, Inc. to develop systems biology tools for Huntington's disease (HD) research. HD is a devastating neurodegenerative disorder that affects muscle coordination and leads to gradual cognitive decline and dementia; there are currently no effective treatments available. The collaboration will include reconstruction and analysis of causal networks underlying HD mechanisms and building a comprehensive collection of HD pathology pathway maps to assist researchers worldwide.  

"Building a clearer, more detailed understanding of Huntington's disease that leads to the development of therapies is CHDI's top priority," said Keith Elliston, vice president of systems biology at CHDI. "We are very pleased to be collaborating with Thomson Reuters to provide the whole HD research community with valuable tools that will further our knowledge of the disease and bring us closer to effective therapeutic options for patients."

One of the central goals of the MetaMiner Partnership will be to identify disease mechanisms through network analysis of gene expression data in HD patients with different numbers of CAG repeats in the huntingtin (HTT) gene. The number of CAG repeats is a predictor of the age of disease onset.

A second objective of the collaboration will be to build pathology pathway maps for disease mechanisms, continuing the work of MetaMiner™ for HD, a program that focuses on HD pathway reconstruction. This project, a collaborative effort between Thomson Reuters, as well as selected pharmaceutical companies and universities, has generated 15 specific HD pathway maps. Thomson Reuters builds causal networks and pathway maps using a proprietary manual curation technology and full text peer-review literature as a source of protein interactions.

"The pathway maps and unique content Thomson Reuters is developing for this collaborative effort with CHDI are especially valuable in shedding light on Huntington's disease and its mechanisms," said Jon Brett-Harris, executive vice president, Life Sciences, Thomson Reuters. "The maps will provide HD researchers with a resource to reveal the mechanisms behind the disease and further extend the drug discovery process. We are honored to have the opportunity to work with CHDI as a research partner on this critical program, and to be able to contribute our state-of-the-art content with high value professional services and research capabilities."

Once complete, the images of the new HD pathway maps will be available on CHDI's website and through MetaCore. Users of MetaCore, an integrated software suite for functional data analysis, will be able to access the HD pathway maps for greater insight via MetaCore's analysis tools.

For more information about pathway analysis tools at Thomson Reuters, please visit

CHDI Foundation, Inc. is a privately-funded, not-for-profit, biomedical research organization exclusively dedicated to rapidly discovering and developing therapies that slow the progression of Huntington's disease. As a collaborative enabler, CHDI seeks to bring the right partners together to identify and address critical scientific issues and move drug candidates to clinical evaluation as quickly as possible. Our scientists work closely with a network of more than 600 researchers in academic and industrial laboratories around the world in the pursuit of these novel therapies, providing strategic scientific direction to ensure that our common goals remain in focus. More information about CHDI can be found at

Thomson Reuters is the world's leading source of intelligent information for businesses and professionals. We combine industry expertise with innovative technology to deliver critical information to leading decision makers in the financial and risk, legal, tax and accounting, intellectual property and science and media markets, powered by the world's most trusted news organization. With headquarters in New York and major operations in London and Eagan, Minnesota, Thomson Reuters employs approximately 60,000 people and operates in over 100 countries. For more information, go to

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