ALS TDI and Applied Proteomics join to identify protein biomarkers associated with ALS

The ALS Therapy Development Institute (ALS TDI) and Applied Proteomics, Inc. announced today that they have completed the first stage of a multi-year collaboration to identify and validate protein biomarkers associated with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS, Lou Gehrig's disease). Biomarkers may be used to track the progression of disease and aid in the development of effective therapeutics for ALS, for which there are none. The Muscular Dystrophy Association's Augie's Quest Initiative is a major funder of ALS TDI, and provided the critical funding needed to execute this important collaboration.

"The creation of protein biomarkers of ALS has the potential to not only hasten the creation of effective therapeutics, but also aid in the accurate measurement of their efficacy in people living with disease. This partnership is aimed to meet this need by leveraging the latest technology. We are pleased to be working with such an accomplished group of researchers at Applied Proteomics," said Steven Perrin, Ph.D., chief executive and chief scientific officer of ALS TDI.

In this stage of the collaboration, ALS TDI provided Applied Proteomics with spinal cords from the SOD1 G93A mouse, a common preclinical model of ALS. Applied Proteomics isolates the proteins from these samples and investigates changes in protein expression using mass spectrometry, a process through which the expressions of individual proteins are quantified. This data was then transferred back to ALS TDI, which is now in the process of comparing it to a similar proprietary database of RNA expression the Institute created in 2008. This proof-of-concept experiment is a crucial first step in order to determine the reliability of protein markers identified through the process. There are currently no homogenous protein biomarkers of ALS.

"The absence of viable diagnostic and therapeutic tools for managing and treating ALS is tragic. We are delighted to be working in partnership with ALS TDI to address this problem by combining our systems engineering approach for proteomics-based biomarker discovery with their unique collection of focus, research talents, disease models, and experimental data," said John E. Blume, Ph.D., chief science officer at Applied Proteomics, Inc.

SOURCE ALS Therapy Development Institute

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