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ALS Institute Expanding Clinical Locations for Sampling for Biomarker Program

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb News) – The ALS Therapy Development Institute, a non-profit that is focused on advancing research into amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, or Lou Gehrig’s disease, said today that it is accelerating its efforts to discover biomarkers that could be used in combating the disease.

The group said it is expanding its effort to collect samples for use in the program, which seeks to identify altered expression of genes and proteins that could be potential biomarkers for diagnosing and monitoring the disease.

This expansion includes agreements or proposals to several additional hospitals and clinics for the collection of blood, muscle, and adipose tissue from ALS patients with both the sporadic and inherited form of the disease. The group said that as of today it had clinical locations set up to collect blood donations and clinical information from Methodist Neurological Institute; University of California, Irvine; and Mount Sinai Medical Center.

The biomarkers program is part of a three-year, $18 million funding and scientific collaboration with the Muscular Dystrophy Association’s Augie’s Quest Initiative.

The data from this project is being placed in a developing translational database that will be compared to the ALS TDI transcriptome database for the SOD1 mouse.

“The efforts of our clinical partners to carefully collect these biological samples, as well as the relevant clinical information from each patient, is central for the success of this project," ALS TDI CSO Steve Perrin said in a statement.

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