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Verge Genomics Forms ALS Research Collaboration

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb) – Drug discovery firm Verge Genomics announced today that it has partnered with four academic institutions to create a resource for the translation of preclinical models of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) research.

According to Verge, the alliance — which includes the Motor Neuron Center at Columbia University, the Massachusetts General Institute for Neurodegenerative Disease, the Keck School of Medicine of the University of Southern California, and the University of Michigan Medical School — will focus on patient-derived induced pluripotent stem cell (iPSC) and genetically-modified rodent models of ALS.

Verge said that the partners will combine its collection of ALS patient genetic and gene expression data, as well as its proprietary systems biology platform, with imaging technology and ALS patient iPSC models developed at the institutes. The ultimate goal of the collaboration is to generate and integrate large-scale genomic, imaging, and biological datasets to bridge the gap between findings derived from patient disease progression and preclinical models of ALS, the company added.

Additional terms were not disclosed.

"By combining cutting edge academic research with our expertise in computational genomics, we can improve the understanding of ALS obtained from preclinical systems and ultimately pave the way to better drugs for the benefit of patients," Verge CEO Alice Zhang said in a statement.

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