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Elixir Pharma and NHGRI Collaborate on Aging Gene Studies

NEW YORK, April 25 -- Elixir Pharmaceuticals said today it is collaborating on genome-wide studies of the Lamin A gene and the aging process with researchers at the National Human Genome Research Institute and the University of Michigan.


The Cambridge, Mass., company's announcement follows last week's announcement by the NHGRI that an associaton had been discovered between the LMNA gene and Hutchinson-Gilford progeria syndrome, a disorder that causes the most dramatic form of premature aging.


In the study, researchers at Francis Collins's laboratory at NHGRI and Michael Boehnke's laboratory at the University of Michigan will compare NHGRI's collection of SNPs in or around the LMNA gene with DNA samples from Elixir's collection of centenarian genomes, and look for associations between the SNPs and longevity.


"We expect this program will provide new insights into our overall understanding of the pathways that regulate aging, eventually leading to a new class of pharmaceutical products that can improve the health of our aging population," said Bard Geesaman, Elixir's vice president of medical development, in a statement.


Elixir is also working with Boston University School of Medicine researchers on a study of the genetics of human longevity.

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