MMRF and MMRC Launch Multiple Myeloma Genomics Portal
News Aug 02, 2007
The Multiple Myeloma Research Foundation (MMRF) and Multiple Myeloma Research Consortium (MMRC) announced the launch of the MMRC Multiple Myeloma Genomics Portal which is said to be the world's only myeloma-specific repository of genomic data.
The MMRC Multiple Myeloma Genomics Portal provides the scientific community with open access to high-resolution genomic data from the MMRC Multiple Myeloma Genomics Initiative pre-publication and in near real-time.
"This release of the MMRC Multiple Myeloma Genomics Portal provides academia and industry with an important opportunity to efficiently and effectively conduct critical analyses of multiple myeloma genome data. When fully implemented, the MMRC Multiple Myeloma Genomics Portal will contain sophisticated bioinformatic tools to study complex datasets," said MMRF and MMRC Founder and CEO Kathy Giusti.
"It is our sincere hope that this important resource will enable researchers to determine what genes and molecular pathways play a role in the onset and progression of myeloma, identify new druggable targets for the disease, and ultimately lead to the development of better, more effective therapies for myeloma."
The MMRC Multiple Myeloma Genomics Portal is a critical component of the MMRC Multiple Myeloma Genomics Initiative, a genome-mapping program spearheaded and funded by the MMRF and MMRC and conducted with the support of and in collaboration with the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard and the Translational Genomics Research Institute (TGen).
"The MMRC Multiple Myeloma Genomics Portal represents an important step in making genomic data available to the scientific community without restriction. The commitment to make these data available prior to publication means that scientists worldwide will have immediate access to the data, enabling a more rapid pace of scientific inquiry," said Todd Golub, MD, Director of the Cancer Program at the Broad Institute and a pediatric oncologist at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute.
The MMRC Multiple Myeloma Genomics Portal's launch includes the first disclosure of an MMRC dataset containing the highest-resolution DNA copy number analysis of patient's multiple myeloma tumor tissue published to date with matching gene expression profiles on 94 samples, as well as data from other myeloma genomic efforts.
In the coming months, preliminary data from RNA interference (RNAi) screens will be placed in the MMRC Multiple Myeloma Genomics Portal; when fully analyzed, the RNAi screening results will help guide the selection of novel targeted therapeutics for treating multiple myeloma.
In addition, sophisticated bioinformatics tools will be added to the MMRC Multiple Myeloma Genomics Portal within the next year, and the inclusion of data from genomic studies in other cancers is planned.
By mid-2009, the MMRC Multiple Myeloma Genomics Initiative will have screened a total of 250 patient samples using a broad range of genomic approaches; data from these screens will be immediately placed in the MMRC Multiple Myeloma Genomics Portal.
"The MMRF and MMRC's commitment to providing the scientific community with access to this quantity and quality of data offers a remarkable opportunity to advance myeloma research and drug development," said Jeffrey Trent, PhD, President and Scientific Director of TGen. "Ultimately, this can result in better treatment options for patients who so urgently need them."
As genome editing technologies advance toward clinical therapies, they are raising hopes of a completely new way to treat disease. However, challenges need to be addressed before potential treatments can be widely used in patients. To tackle these challenges, the National Institutes of Health has launched the Somatic Cell Genome Editing program, which has awarded multiple grants including more than $3.6 million to assess the safety of genome editing in human cells and tissues.