Perlegen Sciences, Inc. announced today that it is conducting a high density whole genome association study of bipolar disorder (BPD) in collaboration with the Pritzker Neuropsychiatric Disorders Research Consortium (PNDRC). DNA samples systematically collected by projects that participated in the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) Bipolar Disorder Genetics Initiative and control samples from the NIMH Molecular Genetics of Schizophrenia (MGS-2) Initiative will be used in this study. This effort represents a convergence of resources from the commercial, academic, federal and philanthropic sectors aimed at discovering the causes of psychiatric disorders and devising novel treatments.
The collaborators will conduct a comparative study of genetic variation in patients with BPD (cases) versus matched, unaffected controls. The genetic variants, also called single nucleotide polymorphisms or SNPs, will be genotyped in the cases and controls. Validation of results will be conducted in a separate set of BPD cases and controls. This represents the highest density genome scan of BPD conducted to date.
The PNDRC in conjunction with a NIMH-funded Conte Center has shown differential gene expression in post mortem brain samples from patients who had suffered from mood disorders and schizophrenia. The PNDRC will examine how genetic variations correlate with gene expression changes in neuropsychiatric disorders. Results of the study are expected to help guide development of improved diagnostics, therapeutics and more personalized clinical management strategies to combat neuropsychiatric diseases.
“NIMH is very pleased to be part of this effort to provide resources that will help us understand how versions of genes associated with psychiatric illness work in the brain,” said Dr. Thomas R. Insel, Director of NIMH. “The results will ultimately help us improve diagnosis and treatments for bipolar disorder and other mental illnesses.”
“We are eager to understand the genetics of this serious disorder more thoroughly and hope this study will help to accelerate and focus research that leads to new treatments and better diagnosis,” stated Paul Cusenza, Senior Vice President of Marketing and Public Sector Collaborations at Perlegen Sciences.About the Pritzker Neuropsychiatric Disorders Research Consortium (PNDRC)
The PNDRC is a collaborative research enterprise comprised of several leading academic institutions including scientific groups at the University of Michigan, Stanford University, University of California at Irvine, and the University of California at Davis, and recently joined by Cornell University. The Consortium is focused on understanding the neurobiology and genetics of mood disorders and schizophrenia. It is conducting studies on human post-mortem tissue, blood samples from isolated populations, and various animal models, to identify altered profiles of gene expression in blood or brain circuits associated with these disorders. Its aim is to uncover the causes of these illnesses, identify novel targets for their diagnosis, treatment and prevention and to ensure that applications of these discoveries are utilized to the fullest extent possible. More information is available at http://www.pritzkerneuropsych.org/About Perlegen Sciences
Perlegen Sciences, Inc. is working to provide safe and effective medicines to the world. The company quickly and cost effectively analyzes millions of genetic variations in DNA samples obtained from clinical trial participants. This information is used to explain and predict the efficacy and adverse effect profiles of prescription drugs. Perlegen also applies this expertise to discovering genetic variants associated with disease for potential new therapeutics and diagnostics. For years, scientists and drug manufacturers have been eager to comprehensively examine entire genomes; through Perlegen, this is now possible. Perlegen is able to bring drugs to the market wherein clinical development could have been otherwise discontinued.
Based in Mountain View, California, Perlegen was formed in late 2000 as a spin-off from Affymetrix, Inc. (Nasdaq: AFFX). For more information about the company and its technologies, visit Perlegen's website at http://www.perlegen.com. Perlegen Sciences, Perlegen, and the Perlegen logo are trademarks of Perlegen Sciences, Inc.
For Pritzker Neuropsychiatric Disorders Research Consortium:
Manuel O. Lopez-Figueroa
For Perlegen Sciences, Inc.:
Senior Vice President