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Biogen Funding Sequencing of ALS Genome by Researchers at Duke, HudsonAlpha

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb News) – Biogen Idec today announced collaborations with researchers at Duke University and the HudsonAlpha Institute for Biotechnology to sequence the genomes of up to 1,000 patients in order to better understand the genetic causes of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, also called Lou Gehrig's disease.

Under the terms of the deal, Biogen will fund projects being conducted in the laboratories of David Goldstein, director of the Center for Human Genome Variation at Duke, and Richard Myers, president and director of HudsonAlpha, to sequence the genomes of about 500 patients with ALS during the next two years.

Ultimately, the researchers hope to sequence a total of 1,000 ALS genomes within five years.

Biogen did not disclose how much in funding it will be providing. Other terms of the collaboration were also not disclosed.

The projects also leverage the expertise of researchers with experience in ALS and the genes that are associated with the disease, including Robert Brown, a neurologist at the University of Massachusetts Medical School, Aaron Gitler, a geneticist at Stanford University; Tom Maniatis, a molecular biologist at Columbia University; Guy Rouleau, a neuro-geneticist at the University of Montreal; and Neil Shneider, a neurologist and neuroscientist in the Motor Neuron Center at Columbia University.

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