NEW YORK (GenomeWeb) – Verge Genomics has launched single-cell sequencing project for Parkinson's disease in collaboration with the University of California, San Diego and Belgian life sciences research institute VIB.
The group will combine VIB's single-cell RNA sequencing technology, tissue samples from UCSD, and Verge's machine learning platform to sequence genes expressed in the nuclei of brain tissue from people with and without neurodegenerative disease. The effort's ultimate goal is to generate genomics data that can lead new Parkinson's treatments.
"This collaboration continues an ongoing effort at Verge to invest heavily in the creation of new, high quality datasets designed explicitly with computational analysis in mind from the start," Verge CEO Alice Zhang said in a statement.
Last year, the firm formed an alliance with the Motor Neuron Center at Columbia University, the Massachusetts General Institute for Neurodegenerative Disease, the Keck School of Medicine of the University of Southern California, and the University of Michigan Medical School to study amyotrophic lateral sclerosis.
Matthew Holt, group leader at the VIB-KU Leuven Center for Brain & Disease Research, added that advances in single-cell technology is enabling researchers to "understand how the healthy brain functions and what goes wrong in disease."
Robert Rissman, director of the UCSD Shiley-Marcos Alzheimer's Disease Research Center Neuropathology Core, said that he anticipated that single-cell sequencing of banked tissue samples would help drive the "field of Parkinson's disease therapeutics forward."
Financial and other details of the collaboration were not disclosed.