Wednesday, April 04, 2007

Texas Institute for Genomic Medicine Will Supply Myelin Repair Foundation with Knockout Research Mice Throughout North America

Apr 4 2007, 12:00 PM EST

Business Wire

The Texas Institute for Genomic Medicine (TIGM) has entered into an agreement with the Myelin Repair Foundation to supply up to 15 pair of genetically altered mice over the next 12 months for collaborative research in the U.S. and Canada to find the cause and possible treatments for multiple sclerosis (MS).

The Myelin Repair Foundation (MRF) is a non-profit organization focused exclusively on discovering how myelin, the protective insulation surrounding nerve fibers of the central nervous system, is created, damaged and can be repaired. The MRF, headquartered in Saratoga, California, has established an accelerated research collaboration process to bring together leading neuroscientists from a number of universities throughout North America to identify, understand and validate promising solutions more quickly. Traditionally, academic research data isn't shared until experiments are completed and results are published. Through its unique collaborative process, the MRF is breaking down academic silo barriers to encourage the sharing of data and insights while experiments are ongoing. In doing so, the MRF hopes to bring treatments for MS and other neurological diseases to the public on a more rapid timeline.

Under the terms of the agreement, TIGM will create custom-designed breeding pairs of knockout mice that have specific genes altered especially for the myelin research that scientists are conducting at five different locations over the next year.

"As a leading provider of genetically engineered knockout mice, TIGM provides an essential resource to academic and nonprofit researchers more quickly and cost effectively than alternate sources. By getting knockout mice into the hands of MRF researchers at an accelerated pace, TIGM can support MRF in their race to find breakthrough cures for MS," said Dr. Richard H. Finnell, TIGM executive director.

"TIGM has unique technology to produce the knockout mice we need far more efficiently than we could do it in our own labs," said MRF's Chief Operating Officer Rusty Bromley. "Our choice to align with organizations like TIGM for such specialized services is central to our model for speeding the discovery of drug targets."

About the Texas Institute for Genomic Medicine (TIGM)

TIGM is a not-for-profit institution created in 2005 to pioneer the development of life-changing medical breakthroughs, accelerate the pace of medical discoveries and to foster the development of the biotechnology industry in Texas. To that end, TIGM helps researchers worldwide gain faster, more cost-effective access to the genetically engineered knockout mice or mouse embryonic stem cells they need to help speed research to find the cure for human diseases and conditions. TIGM maintains the world's largest catalogue of more than 200,000 embryonic stem cells for C57BL/6 mice. In addition, TIGM has contracted access to the world's largest catalog of genetically modified 129 mouse cells, with more than 272,000 stem cell clones available. The Institute headquarters and laboratory facilities are based in the Texas Medical Center in Houston, Texas, with additional facilities currently under construction in College Station, Texas. For more information, log on to or call 888-377-TIGM (toll free in North America).

About the Myelin Repair Foundation

The Myelin Repair Foundation (MRF) - - is a non-profit medical research foundation dedicated to accelerating basic medical research and its translation into myelin repair treatments that will dramatically improve the lives of people suffering from multiple sclerosis (MS). Many believe MRF's Accelerated Research Collaboration(TM) model could change the way in which all medical research is done.