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ALS Therapy Development Institute Signs Collaboration Agreement with the Allen Institute for Brain Science
Date:4/8/2008

Long-term arrangement between two leading non-profit research institutes designed to validate drug targets for the fatal neurodegenerative disease that affects 30,000 Americans

CAMBRIDGE, Mass., April 8, 2008 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The ALS Therapy Development Institute (ALS TDI) today announced it has entered into an agreement with the Allen Institute for Brain Science in Seattle, Wash. 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, Ph.D., 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 an enormous 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
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SOURCE ALS Therapy Development Institute
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