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David and Barbara Roux Provide Historic $10 Million Gift to Advance Genomic Medicine Research at The Jackson Laboratory

The Jackson Laboratory (JAX) has announced that technology investor David Roux and his wife Barbara have gifted $10 million to support research and find cures for genetically based diseases. The center will be based at the Laboratory’s locations in both Maine and Connecticut.

Berg Partners With Department of Defense Research Center and Military Medical Foundation to Advance Prostate Cancer Research

Berg, a biopharmaceutical company committed to uncovering health solutions through a data-driven, biological research approach, announced today an ambitious new partnership with the U.S. Department of Defense under a Cooperative Research and Development Agreement with the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences’ (USU) Center for Prostate Disease Research (CPDR) and The Henry M. Jackson Foundation for the Advancement of Military Medicine, Inc. (HJF) to offer hope, and possibly one day a cure, for the 238,590 men diagnosed with prostate cancer each year.

“The CPDR has embarked on one of the most comprehensive prostate cancer research programs in the world and we are honored to be working with such a forward-thinking organization,” said Niven R. Narain, Co-Founder, President and CTO of Berg. “This collaboration is an ideal marriage of the CPDR’s extensive prostate cancer expertise and Berg’s unparalleled ability to drive a deeper level of biological understanding. Together, we have the potential to change the meaning of a prostate cancer diagnosis, and hopefully prognosis, while exemplifying how industry and government can work together to enact real change in public health.”

As part of this partnership, Berg and the CPDR will take a data-driven approach to drive molecular intelligence of prostate cancer by uncovering more accurate biomarkers and better therapies for patients. Berg will lend its expertise in computational biology and its proprietary Interrogative Biology™ Platform to analyze the CPDR’s extensive supply of prostate cancer data.

“Innovative collaborations, like this one with Berg, are the wave of the future in scientific discovery, and our goal is to illuminate actionable insights from the high volume of prostate cancer data we have generated to move science forward in a significant way,” said Army Colonel (ret) David G. McLeod, M.D., Director, and Albert Dobi, Ph.D., Associate Director at the CPDR.

Prostate cancer is the most commonly diagnosed non-cutaneous cancer in men and is the second most common cause of male death from cancer. In 2012, approximately 238,590 men in the U.S. were diagnosed with prostate cancer and an estimated 28,170 died from the disease. In addition, major population disparities in prostate cancer incidence and mortality need to be addressed through new diagnostic and prognostic marker discoveries.

Source: Berg Pharma

OICR Researcher Receives Genome Canada Award to Develop Software for Personalized Medicine

The Ontario Institute for Cancer Research (OICR) and the Ontario Genomics Institute (OGI) recently announced that Dr. Lincoln Stein, OICR’s Program Leader, Informatics and Bio-computing, has been awarded $250,000 through Genome Canada’s Bioinformatics and Computational Biology competition, in partnership with the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR). Dr. Stein and his colleague Dr. Guanming Wu, aim to develop software that will improve the treatment of cancer patients by enabling physicians to study and visualize the genomic aberrations of individual patients. It will help identify genes related to cancers and other diseases.

Cancer is a disease caused by the accumulation of multiple genetic mutations. Highly specific drugs that target mutated proteins in cancer cells are currently being used to treat the disease. However, since cancer patients have different mutation profiles, a drug that is effective in one may not have the same result in another. Personalized medicine based on genomic data would allow doctors to determine the best targeted therapy for each patient.

“One of OICR’s research priorities is to use personalized medicine to optimize patient treatment decisions,” said Dr. Tom Hudson, OICR’s President and Scientific Director. “This project will be of great value to patients because it will link genomic pathway and network patterns to clinical information such as likelihood of cancer metastasis, recurrence, drug sensitivity and patient overall survival.”

“This project will improve clinical care for individuals with cancer,” said Dr. Mark Poznansky, President and CEO, Ontario Genomics Institute. “Understanding the genetic differences between individuals allows for personalized approaches to medicine, which will have a significant impact on health care in Ontario and the world. OGI is proud to support this important work by Drs. Stein and Wu.”

Source: Ontario Institute for Cancer Research

Covance Scientists to Present at the Molecular Med Tri-Con

Scientists from Covance Discovery and Translational Services will be showcasing their company’s R&D capabilities, talent and technologies in biomarkers, discovery services, genomics and proteomics to over 3,000 participants at the 2012 Molecular Med Tri-Con this week in San Francisco, CA.

IU Personalized Medicine Institute to Develop Targeted and Individualized Treatments

Indiana University has announced a major commitment to research in one of health care’s most promising fields with the creation of the Indiana Institute for Personalized Medicine.