US-based Amgen (AMGN), Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) and the Broad Institute have collaborated to jointly discover and validate new therapeutic targets and develop new therapies for inflammatory bowel disease (IBD).
The collaboration brings together scientists with expertise in clinical medicine, IBD biology, human genetics and genomic technology, as well as drug discovery to work together to help create a new world of therapeutic options for IBD patients.
Massachusetts General Hospital chief of gastroenterology Ramnik Xavier said the collaboration will translate discoveries of IBD genes and biology into novel drugs for IBD patients.
"We are thrilled to be working together with our Amgen colleagues in this visionary collaboration," Xavier added.
The partnership will leverage the shared expertise of its participating scientists and partner institutions to discover and develop novel therapies for IBD.
As part of the collaboration, patient DNA samples will be collected and analysed to identify and further validate genetic targets, biological assays to probe gene function, and subsequent drug discovery and development activities.
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The MGH-Broad-Amgen collaboration will also see formation of a new joint steering committee to select and guide projects.
The company said that IBD is well-known to run in families, suggesting that genes play a vital role in the development and progression of disease.
Amgen executive vice-president of research and development Sean Harper said: "We believe this collaboration with Massachusetts General Hospital and the Broad Institute will help identify improved treatment options for these patients."
Image: Micrograph showing inflammation of the large bowel in a case of inflammatory bowel disease. Photo: courtesy of Nephron.