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Broken String Biosciences, Crick Institute Team up for ALS Research

NEW YORK – Broken String Biosciences said Tuesday that it has entered into a research collaboration with the Francis Crick Institute on amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS).

Under the terms of the partnership, the project will develop novel applications for Broken String's DNA break mapping technology, Induce-seq. Researchers led by Crick's Simon Boulton and Nishita Parnandi will use the technology to investigate the contribution of genome instability to ALS and the underlying mechanisms of the disease.

The partnership is being conducted through the Crick Institute's business engagement fund, a new initiative supported by the UK's Medical Research Council that is designed to encourage collaborations with small to medium-sized enterprises and strengthen the Crick's engagement with industry. Financial and other details were not disclosed.

"Our research is focused on exploring how cells repair damage to their DNA, and how failures in this process lead to disease," Boulton said in a statement. "We are excited to leverage the Induce-seq platform’s unique capabilities in directly measuring and quantifying DNA double-strand breaks and applying this to deepen our understanding of diseases that have genomic instability as a contributing factor, such as ALS."

Cambridge, UK-based Broken String closed a $15 million Series A financing round in September 2023. The Cardiff University spinout has also collaborated with AstraZeneca, Novartis, and TwinStrand Biosciences on the study of off-target editing in cell therapies.