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MediSapiens Joins Canine Genomics Project

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb) – Finnish bioinformatics firm MediSapiens has joined a research consortium working to update the dog genome map.

The consortium — which is led by University of Helsinki molecular geneticist Hannes Lohi and the Karolinska Institute's Juha Kere and Carsten Daub — aims to use the canine genome to better model human disease.  It also includes Finnish animal diagnostics firm Genoscoper Laboratories — where Lohi serves as chief scientist — and Mars Veterinary. The project has landed €1.5 million ($1.7 million) in funding from the Jane and Aatos Erkko Foundation, and has additional funding from its commercial partners.

MediSapiens will provide software and expertise to the project, to help analyze and interpret information from the dog genome and develop functional annotation of both known and novel genes.

Financial and other terms of the agreement were not disclosed.

"This will help to identify disease-associated genetic alterations and enable their efficient comparison with the human genome," Lohi said in a statement. "The project also builds on substantial previous research and a large dog biobank."

In January, MediSapiens signed on to provide informatics support to the Estonian Personalized Medicine Consortium.