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UCB, Imperial College Team Up to Identify Epilepsy Gene Regulators

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb News) – UCB today announced a two-year partnership with Imperial College London to identify master genetic regulators of brain networks that underlie epileptic activity.

The collaboration, UCB said, may result in the discovery of new drug targets and is the first time that cutting edge technologies, such as RNA sequencing and genome-wide approaches, will be applied to translational epilepsy research.

Up to 30 percent of epileptics do not respond to available treatments and continue to have uncontrollable seizures, Michael Johnson, an honorary reader in neurology at Imperial College London, and Enrico Petretto, senior lecturer in genomic medicine at the college, said.

"The aim of our partnership with UCB is to use state-of-the-art genomic approaches to identify causal molecular pathways for epilepsy and ultimately to identify and validate new drug targets to modify these pathways," they said in a statement.

Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.

UCB is a Belgian biopharmaceutical company. It also said today that it is lending its support to the Quarriers Scottish Epilepsy Centre, which is slated to open next spring.

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