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Europe Funds Alzheimer's, Brain Aging Systems Bio Consortium

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb News) – An international group of collaborators from academia and the business sector will partner to use integrative systems biology and comparative genomics approaches to study age-related human brain diseases with a particular focus on discovering new molecular targets and biomarkers for late-onset Alzheimer's disease.

The AgedBrainSYSBIO project, which is funded with €6 million ($7.7 million) from the European Commission, includes 14 partners in Belgium, France, Estonia, Germany, Israel, the UK, and Switzerland.

The idea behind the project is to take advantage of large data sets that have been generated through genome-wide association studies of genes linked with late-onset Alzheimer's risk and data from research on protein-protein interactions, and to apply these data and new drosophila and mouse models for Alzheimer's disease research.

The partners plan to integrate data sets from transciptomics, proteomics, metabolomics, and GWAS, and they will share results and knowledge from other studies and tests in humans and mouse models of age-related brain decline.

The private sector partners who will contribute to the project include Quretec, of Estonia, which will handle data management and analyses; Hybrigenics, of France, which conducts comparative proteomics and protein-protein interaction analyses; Germany's Genebridges, which develops strategies for DNA engineering in mammalian cells; and ReMynd, of Belgium, which supports the development of treatments for protein folding diseases through contract research activities for Alzheimer's disease, and drug discovery and development for Alzheimer's, Parkinson's, and diabetes.

The collaborators will work together to identify brain pathway interactions that develop through the natural aging process and compare them to those in the disease state. They also plan to model and test novel pathways and their evolutionary properties to identify potential drug targets for preventing and curing the cognitive effects of aging.