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UK Awards Consortium £850K to Validate ALS Epigenetic Biomarkers

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb) — Innovate UK has awarded a UK consortium £850,000 ($1.3 million) to validate epigenetic signatures in patients with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. 

The consortium is led by Oxford BioDynamics and includes Oxford University's Nuffield department of clinical neurosciences and Chronos Therapeutics. The project is worth a total of about £1.3 million, Oxford BioDynamics said.

The company will use its EpiSwitch technology to validate epigenetic signatures that are anticipated to have use in diagnosing patients and providing information about disease progression and whether a new drug is effective. A test developed from the collaboration would be able to detect the biomarkers directly from a patient's blood.

Oxford BioDynamics CEO Hoyer Millar said in a statement that the funding from Innovate UK, formerly called the Technology Strategy Board, "will help further advance [the company's] unique technology biomarker platform built by our university spinout and used today by a number of US pharma and Asian healthcare clients." 

The Scan

LINE-1 Linked to Premature Aging Conditions

Researchers report in Science Translational Medicine that the accumulation of LINE-1 RNA contributes to premature aging conditions and that symptoms can be improved by targeting them.

Team Presents Cattle Genotype-Tissue Expression Atlas

Using RNA sequences representing thousands of cattle samples, researchers looked at relationships between cattle genotype and tissue expression in Nature Genetics.

Researchers Map Recombination in Khoe-San Population

With whole-genome sequences for dozens of individuals from the Nama population, researchers saw in Genome Biology fine-scale recombination patterns that clustered outside of other populations.

Myotonic Dystrophy Repeat Detected in Family Genome Sequencing Analysis

While sequencing individuals from a multi-generation family, researchers identified a myotonic dystrophy type 2-related short tandem repeat in the European Journal of Human Genetics.