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Lineagen, Fast Forward Team Up on Multiple Sclerosis Biomarkers

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb News) – Molecular diagnostics firm Lineagen and Fast Forward have forged a partnership to fund the development of a blood-based assay for multiple sclerosis.

Under the terms of the deal announced today, Fast Forward, a nonprofit subsidiary of the National Multiple Sclerosis Society, is committing $622,000 to clinically develop and validate a variety of biomarkers, including genes that may be able to identify those who have a predisposition for the disease, as well as biomarkers for diagnostic and prognostic use. The hope is to develop a test that can inform clinicians and guide treatment by distinguishing MS from other neurological disorders and providing information about patient response to therapies.

The funding supports research by John Rose, a professor of neurology at the University of Utah, and Mark Leppert, a professor of human genetics at the university.

"One of the most critical challenges is to find answers to key questions, such as how do we identify those patients who are more likely to experience disease progression, and how do we determine patients' potential responsiveness to therapy," Rose said in a statement. "With this important funding provided by Fast Forward, we will rapidly gain key insights that we believe can have a profound impact on the lives of people living with MS."

The Scan

Could Mix It Up

The US Food and Drug Administration is considering a plan that would allow for the mixing-and-matching of SARS-CoV-2 vaccines and boosters, the New York Times says.

Closest to the Dog

New Scientist reports that extinct Japanese wolf appears to be the closest known wild relative of dogs.

Offer to Come Back

The Knoxville News Sentinel reports that the University of Tennessee is offering Anming Hu, a professor who was acquitted of charges that he hid ties to China, his position back.

PNAS Papers on Myeloid Differentiation MicroRNAs, Urinary Exosomes, Maize Domestication

In PNAS this week: role of microRNAs in myeloid differentiation, exosomes in urine, and more.