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ASU, Pfizer Partner on $5M Type 2 Diabetes Biomarker Project

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb News) – Arizona State University's Biodesign Institute will lead a study with partners at Pfizer, the Phoenix VA Healthcare System, and the University of Arizona's BIO5 Institute aimed at discovering protein biomarkers to predict cardiovascular disease in people with type 2 diabetes.

The $5 million grant from the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases will fund research using protein sequencing to identify diabetes biomarkers and their functional states and to measure the quantity of particular proteins.

"The envisioned biomarkers will better predict the onset of cardiovascular disease in the context of type 2 diabetes and help define the optimal therapeutic or pharmaceutical interventions to significantly improve patient outcomes," principal investigator Randy Nelson, director of the Molecular Biosignatures Analysis Unit at the Biodesign Institute, said in a statement.

The grant was awarded under an NIDDK program aimed at creating collaborative interdisciplinary team science projects in diabetes, endocrinology, and metabolic diseases that have the potential to advance clinical research.

"Identifying markers to predict heart and blood vessel diseases in people with type 2 diabetes is challenging but important," added Salvatore Sechi, director of NIDDK's Proteomic Program and Diabetes Systems Biology Program. "We are looking to the project's team of experts in proteomics, drug development, biostatistics, and clinical studies to advance the difficult search for markers that may be useful for both diagnosis and for assessing potential new drug therapies."

The partners will study and validate markers in people with diabetes, some of whom have had a heart attack, with the long-term goal of generating enough markers to create panels that can predict risk and identify drug targets.

Pfizer's Personalized Medicine branch will be involved in translating the prognostic biomarkers of cardiovascular disease risk for use in decision-making during type 2 diabetes drug development process.

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