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DeCode Awarded $24 Million by NIH to Study Genetics of Infectious Disease and Vaccine Response

NEW YORK, Oct. 8 (GenomeWeb News) - DeCode genetics announced today that it has been awarded a five-year, $23.9 million contract by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious diseases to discover genetic factors associated with susceptibility to certain infectious diseases. The Raykjavik, Iceland-based company will also apply its population-based research approach to investigate genetic factors associated with vaccine response.


More specifically, the contract states that DeCode will conduct genome-wide scans in Icelandto search for key genes involved in susceptibility to tuberculosis; adverse reaction to smallpox vaccination; and susceptibility to influenza and certain bacterial infections, such as those that cause pneumonia and meningitis.


Following the identification of targets by DeCode, a team at the Universityof New Mexicoled by Rick Lyons will conduct functional validation studies on the targets. In addition, the NationalCenterfor Genome Resources, headed by Stephen Kingsmore, will design and maintain an internet-based Immune Response database that will enable investigators to query and visualize results of the project in the context of existing data on the genetics of immune response.

The Scan

Just Breathing

A new analysis suggests that most Mycobacterium tuberculosis is spread by aerosols from breathing, rather than by coughing, the New York Times reports.

Just Like This One

NPR reports that the World Health Organization has hired a South African biotech company to recreate mRNA vaccine for SARS-CoV-2 that is similar to the one developed by Moderna.

Slow Start

The Wall Street Journal reports that Biogen's Alzheimer's disease treatment had revenues for July through September that totaled $300,000.

Genome Research Papers on Cancer Chromatin, Splicing in the Thymus, Circular RNAs in Cancer

In Genome Research this week: analysis of bivalent chromatin sites, RBFOX splicing factors' role in thymic epithelial cells, and more.