More MS news articles for June 2002

Molecular Mining Corporation and the University of California at San Francisco enter into a Collaboration on Multiple Sclerosis

Wednesday June 5, 9:05 am Eastern Time
SOURCE: Molecular Mining Corporation

Molecular Mining Corporation (MMC) announces a collaboration with the University of California at San Francisco (UCSF) to investigate the effects of interferon beta (IFNB) therapy on multiple sclerosis (MS) patients.

MS is a potentially debilitating neurological disorder that affects over 300,000 people in North America annually.

Leading researchers at UCSF, together with their colleagues in the Clinical Neuroimmunology Unit (CNI) at Hospital Vall d'Hebron, Barcelona, Spain, are investigating the effect of interferon beta-1b (Betaseron®) on MS patients and healthy individuals. In this multicenter study, hundreds of thousands of datapoints have been gathered using gene expression technology on replicates of individual blood samples. MMC plans to analyze expression matrices to infer and model the genetic regulatory network associated with the therapeutic action of IFNB.

"Under the direction of Dr. Xavier Montalban, CNI, the leading specialized MS clinic in Spain, has compiled complete clinical records of patients undergoing immunotherapy and collected sequential samples for analysis," states Dr. Jorge Oksenberg, Associate Professor in the Department of Neurology at UCSF and one of the Principal Investigators on the project. "Our laboratory is able to provide expertise in an efficient gene expression approach, kinetic Reverse Transcription-Polymerase Chain Reaction (kRT-PCR). This technique allows us to compile within a short time the amount and type of data necessary to apply the most advanced analysis methods."

"Our Science team will use MMC's unique, proprietary core technology and domain expertise to extract key combinatorial, linear, non-linear and dynamic interactions responsible for reliably predicting underlying genetic regulatory networks," said Dr. Mary Jane Cunningham, Director of Discoveries and co-Prinicipal Investigator. "We are confident that our methods combined with the outstanding quality of this data will allow us to infer functional relationships among the network of genes which dictate the physiological mechanisms of IFNB therapy."

This first phase of the collaboration is expected to be completed within two years. Dr. Jorge Oksenberg is a member of the national Multiple Sclerosis Genetics Group, which includes investigators from UCSF as well as Duke and Vanderbilt Universities. Dr. Oksenberg's laboratory has been exploring and identifying susceptible genes in MS for the last several years. This is the first step in attempting to identify who is at risk for developing the disease.

Molecular Mining Corporation specializes in the exploration, inference and prediction of molecular networks derived from gene expression, proteomics and SNPs (single nucleotide polymorphisms) data, and the application of these network models to diagnostic and drug target identification, predictive toxicology and in silico drug screening.

Betaseron® is a registered trademark of Berlex Laboratories.


     Molecular Mining Corporation
     Mary Jane Cunningham, 613/547-9752, ext. 233
     Fax: 613/547-6835
     UCSF School of Medicine
     Jorge Oksenberg, 415/476-1355

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