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Consortium Created for Large-scale Genomic Analysis of Neuropsychiatric Disorders

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb News) – A public-private consortium to generate and analyze large-scale genomic data from patients with neuropsychiatric diseases has launched.

Comprised of Sage Bionetworks, Mount Sinai School of Medicine, the University of Pennsylvania, the National Institute of Mental Health, and Takeda Pharmaceuticals, the CommonMind Consortium brings together disease area expertise, large-scale and well curated brain sample collections, and data management and analysis. It plans to make data and analytical results stemming from its research publicly available.

As part of its efforts, researchers from Mt. Sinai and the University of Pennsylvania will combine their brain bank collections in order to generate whole-genome scale RNA and DNA sequence data.

Citing statistics from the World Health Organization, the consortium said that as many as 450 million people worldwide have a mental or behavioral disorder ,such as schizophrenia or bipolar disorder. In addition to the suffering inflicted on the individual, such ailments carry high healthcare costs with the price tag as much as 4 percent of gross national product, highlighting the need for new therapies, the consortium added.

Pamela Sklar, professor of psychiatry and neuroscience at Mt. Sinai, in a statement called CommonMind Consortium "an exciting opportunity for us to use the newest genomic methods to really expand our understanding of the molecular underpinnings of neuropsychiatric disease."

Raquel Gur, professor of psychiatry at the University of Pennsylvania, added that the consortium's research complements other large-scale genetic analyses being done and "will give a more complete mechanistic picture," of mental disorders.

Takeda is providing seed funding for the consortium.