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ALS TDI Completes Gene Expression Profile of Lou Gehrig's Disease in Mice
Date:10/2/2007

Largest Target-Discovery Program Aimed at New Treatments for Fatal Disease

CAMBRIDGE, Mass., Oct. 2 /PRNewswire/ -- The ALS Therapy Development Institute (ALS TDI) today announced that it has completed the first phase of a comprehensive gene-expression database for ALS with the profiling of the SOD1 mouse model of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis -- ALS, or Lou Gehrig's disease. The second phase, profiling of human samples, is scheduled for completion by February of 2008. This study is part of the largest known target-discovery program aimed at developing new treatments for the fatal neuromuscular disease.

"This dataset is the foundation that will enable scientists at ALS TDI to understand the biological mechanisms associated with disease progression," said Steve Perrin, Ph.D., chief scientific officer at ALS TDI. "Additional gene expression profiling and proteomics analysis from other mouse models of neurodegeneration, as well as human samples collected at ALS clinics, will help us focus on the most relevant biological pathways to target for drug development."

The gene-profiling study involved looking at which genes are turned on over a period of time in various tissues of the SOD1 mouse. Comprising more than 250 samples from four different tissues, the comprehensive database reflects gene expression from eight time points during disease onset and progression. Scientists at Gene Logic Inc., of Gaithersburg, Md., isolated total RNA from the tissue samples, generated high quality genomic data using the Affymetrix GeneChip(R), and used their expert bioanalytical capabilities to identify the activated genes implicated in ALS.

"The assembly of this data set is an important milestone. We could not have gotten to this point without the critical support of Congressman Capuano, Senator Kennedy, the Department of Defense, the MDA and the nearly 250 families that have invested in our unique approach," said Sean Scott, president of ALS TDI, "However,
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SOURCE ALS Therapy Development Institute
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