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Berg, Parkinson's Institute Launch Biomarker Validation Study

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb News) – Biopharmaceutical company Berg and the Parkinson's Institute and Clinical Center have launched a study to validate biomarkers for Parkinson's disease that have been identified in earlier studies.

This is third phase of an ongoing collaboration between Berg and the Parkinson's Institute that is focused on identifying potential biomarkers that could lead to breakthroughs in the research, diagnosis, and treatment of Parkinson's disease. For this study, the partners will collect urine, blood, and other relevant tissue samples from people living with Parkinson's disease and they will use Berg's Interrogative Biology platform to analyze these samples in order to identify differences between healthy and diseased tissues.

This is the first effort to approach biomarker discovery by looking at proteomics, metabolomics, and lipidomics, in addition to clinical data, simultaneously in human patients and controls from the same cohort, according to the partners.

"Through our collaboration with Berg, we hope to identify predictors for the disease and potential new drug targets. Armed with this information, we will be able to better diagnose and develop therapies that can treat and perhaps even halt the neurological damage caused by Parkinson's," Birgitt Schuele, director of gene discovery and stem cell modeling at the Parkinson's Institute, said in a statement.

It will also lead to deeper insights into Parkinson's mechanisms, according to Paula Narain, CNS disease program lead at Berg. "With diseases like cancer and diabetes, we at least have a foundational map and understanding of their pathways. Our challenge with most central nervous system (CNS) diseases is that there is a gross lack of understanding of the molecular pathways and drivers of disease pathophysiology.," she said in a statement. "This collaboration will lead to insights into disease mechanisms that will provide a solid foundation for biomarker and therapeutic candidate discovery."

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