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Mt. Sinai, Berg Ink Omics Deal Directed at Cancer, CNS, Endocrine Disorders

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb News) – The Icahn School of Medicine at Mt. Sinai and biopharmaceutical firm Berg today announced a five-year partnership aimed at cancer, as well as central nervous system and endocrine disorders.

The agreement will take a multi-omics and big data analytical approach to gain insight into the three disease areas in order to potentially develop therapeutics and diagnostic tools, the partners said.

Berg will couple its Interrogative Biology platform with Mt. Sinai's expertise in big data, advanced analytics, and biological network modeling to carry out research involving genomics, proteomics, lipidomics, metabolomics, and functional phenotypes. In addition to cancer, CNS, and endocrine disorders, the work seeks to advance new drug development targeting inflammation and obesity, and infectious and rare diseases.

Berg's platform integrates molecular data from patients with clinical and demographic information "to learn predictive patterns."

The partnership, Berg and Mt. Sinai added, may result in the development of diagnostic tools "to improve pharmacovigilance, diagnosis of disease, and markers of therapeutic efficacy."

They did not disclose financial and other terms of the deal, saying only that they will "adopt an innovative risk and return sharing approach, with downstream royalties significantly higher than the industry standard for academia-pharma partnerships."

"Working with Berg, we plan to analyze big data and create predictive models to discern similarities and differences in disease patterns, identify the most effective treatment and diagnostics, and ultimately, provide better care for our patients," Eric Schadt, the Jean C. and James W. Crystal professor genomics at the Icahn School of Medicine, said in a statement. He also is director of the Icahn Institute for Genomics and Multiscale Biology.

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