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Berg Teams with U of South Carolina on Lupus Biomarker Discovery

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb) – Bioinformatics firm Berg today said that it will collaborate with researchers at the University of South Carolina in a search for lupus biomarkers.

The partnership will apply Framingham, Mass.-based Berg's Interrogative Biology platform to serum, urine, and kidney data points from lupus patients and controls followed in the Medical University of South Carolina rheumatology clinics. Researchers will analyze disease pathophysiology using metabolomics, lipidomics, and proteomics data from tissue samples, with the goal of identifying biomarkers that may predict the onset and progression of lupus.

"Relatively little is known about the disease, and with help from the Medical University of South Carolina, we should be in a position to make some exciting progress in the next two or three years," Niven Narain, co-founder, president and chief technology officer of Berg, said in a statement. "We're looking to uncover actionable insights, leading to the identification of new targets and, ultimately, the development of more patient-friendly, personalized therapies."

The partners noted that current therapies for lupus are effective in only half of all patients. In addition, the treatments only partially control the disease and often have harmful side effects including infertility, infection, and cardiovascular disease.