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Rare Genomics Institute Announces Winners of Rare Disease Challenge

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb) – The Rare Genomics Institute (RGI) today announced the winners of the 2015 Helping Empower and Accelerate Research Discoveries (BeHeard) science challenge, a contest to assist rare disease research.

RGI said in a statement that BeHeard awarded more than $600,000 worth of technologies and services to study 31 different rare diseases. The challenge attracted hundreds of submissions from 99 different universities and foundations in 21 countries. According to the National Institutes of Health, there are almost 7,000 rare diseases, and RGI said that treatments exist for fewer than 5 percent of those.

The challenge matched particular proposals with awards that could help further research. Tute Genomics, Cypher Genomics, and Maverix Biomics donated genomic analysis services and products to 13 research proposals to identify biomarkers and disease-associated genes. Taconic Biosciences and the Jackson Laboratory granted custom mouse models to a scientist researching CODAS syndrome, a rare developmental disorder.

Other technology sponsors included Biovista, DNA Software, MediSapiens, Biocytogen, Collaborative Drug Discovery, BioVariance, Omicia, Euformatics, Addgene, Genetic Diagnostic Laboratories, and the Neuro-genetics Institute.

The list of award winners can be found here.