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New York Genome Center Receives $6M From ALS Association, Tow Foundation

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb) – The New York Genome Center said today that it has received $6 million in funding for its Center for Genomics of Neurodegenerative Disease (CGND) from two foundations.

The ALS Association is committing $3.5 million to the CGND, including a $1 million commitment from its Greater New York chapter. In addition, the Tow Foundation is contributing $2.5 million.

Previously, following the 2014 Ice Bucket Challenge, the ALS Association gave $2.5 million to the CGND to match a $2.5 million gift from the Tow Foundation.

"The ALS Association is proud to continue our support for the critical work the NYGC CGND is doing to reveal genomic patterns and pathways that help us better understand the complexities of ALS," said Calaneet Balas, president and CEO of the ALS Association, in a statement. "NYGC CGND has helped create a flourishing ALS big data community focused on innovation and open data sharing."

The CGND's ALS Consortium, a collaboration of clinicians, scientists, geneticists, and computational biologists, now counts 29 member institutions from around the world who share data with ALS researchers globally.

The goal of the CGND is to sequence and analyze the genomes of several thousand clinically annotated ALS patient samples in order to discover new ALS genes that could represent new therapeutic targets or lead to a better understanding of ALS disease pathways.

Part of this work is the analysis of data from 1,000 ALS patients collected through Answer ALS, which is shared openly with the global ALS research community. The new funding from the ALS Association includes $450,000 for completing this whole-genome sequencing effort.