Sage Bionetworks has built a strong program in neuroscience with partnerships to build advanced computational models of disease with CHDI Foundation and Takeda Pharmaceutical Company. The analyses and the resulting models will be deposited in the Sage Bionetworks repository and will be valuable public resources available to all interested researchers.
CHDI Foundation is continuing to support Sage Bionetworks in a project to apply advanced computational modeling to the discovery and development of biomarkers and therapies for Huntington’s disease (HD). Initially, Sage Bionetworks and CHDI will work with Massachusetts General Hospital colleagues to conduct a worldwide inventory of HD tissues available for research purposes.
“Even though HD is caused by mutations in a single gene, there are unexplained variations in disease onset and progression,” explained Jonathan Derry PhD, Project Leader and Vice President of Research at Sage Bionetworks. ”We believe that genomic network analysis that uses both genetic and phenotypic data will help identify the factors underlying this complexity and provide insights into new models and therapies for the disease.” Robi Blumenstein, President of CHDI Management said, “We are particularly excited to bring HD to Sage Bionetworks’ open-access infrastructure. This shared platform will allow investigators to freely build and compare their network models using Sage Bionetworks’ sophisticated tools, to the benefit of the entire HD research community.”
Schizophrenia and other CNS Diseases
Takeda Pharmaceutical Company and Sage Bionetworks have began a four-year research alliance focusing on therapeutic targets for central nervous system (CNS) disease. Using its integrated genomics methods, Sage Bionetworks scientists will build predictive computational models and identify key regulatory genes and predictive biomarkers in patients with CNS diseases including schizophrenia. Scientists at the two companies will then collaborate to discover and prioritize the targets holding the greatest potential for molecular intervention. Under the terms of the agreement, Takeda will provide more than $3.6 million over four years in research funding and fees.
“Sage Bionetworks’ leading-edge technology and world-wide reach offers the potential for Takeda to understand currently unknown disease mechanisms. This represents a key strategy for meeting Takeda’s challenge for innovation,” said Dr. Paul Chapman, General Manager, Head of Pharmaceutical Research Division of Takeda Pharmaceutical Company Limited. Dr. Stephen Friend, President of Sage Bionetworks noted, “We believe this project, which is our first in central nervous system area, creates an opportunity for new therapeutic insights.”
30 March 2011 Press release