Accelerated Cure Project Joins Forces with Stanford University to Expand Groundbreaking Biorepository for Multiple Sclerosis and Related Diseases

For Immediate Release
 
For more information contact:
Trish Gannon
Feinstein Kean Healthcare
617-761-6774
 
Accelerated Cure Project joins forces with Stanford University to expand groundbreaking biorepository for Multiple Sclerosis and related diseases
 
Nonprofit adds Stanford University School of Medicine to network of leading neurology clinics, achieving coast-to-coast collection of research samples and data from people with MS, NMO, TM, ADEM, and optic neuritis
 
Waltham, MA - March 11, 2010 - Accelerated Cure Project for Multiple Sclerosis, a national nonprofit organization, announced today that it has finalized plans with Lawrence Steinman, MD and the Stanford University School of Medicine in Stanford, CA, to join nine other participating sites across the country in collecting blood samples and data from people with MS and similar diseases. The samples and data collected at Stanford will become part of the largest openly accessible, multi-disciplinary repository ever assembled for use in research into MS and related diseases.
 
"Creating a network of collection sites that spans the entire nation is something that Accelerated Cure Project has been working on since we started the repository in 2006," said Carolyn Cronin, President & CEO of Accelerated Cure Project. "Including Stanford in our network not only provides an opportunity for people on the West Coast to participate in our repository, but it also enriches our collection by helping us enroll specific types of participants. For example, we expect to expand our enrollment of people with neuromyelitis optica because the neurologists at Stanford treat many patients who have NMO."
 
"We are delighted to join the Accelerated Cure Project and our distinguished colleagues from nine other institutions," Steinman said. "Open access to precious specimens from individuals with demyelinating disease will enable us to identify new targets for therapy, to formulate predictive tests for existing therapeutics and to help solve the mystery of what causes these diseases."
 
The Accelerated Cure Project repository collects blood samples as well as clinical and demographic data from people with MS and healthy controls. In addition, through partnerships with the Guthy-Jackson Charitable Foundation and the Transverse Myelitis Association, subjects with several other demyelinating diseases (diseases characterized by loss of myelin in the central nervous system) are enrolled in the repository to enable research in these diseases as well. These diseases include NMO, transverse myelitis (TM), acute disseminated encephalomyelitis (ADEM), and optic neuritis (ON).
 
The repository contains multiple types of blood samples and data that can support scientists working in many fields - genetics, proteomics, virology, and more. Researchers gaining access to the repository return their results to a central database to be shared with other researchers, thus allowing results to be combined and analyzed together, leading to new findings and a more in-depth understanding of the diseases. To date, over 30 scientific studies have been supported with samples and data from this repository.
 
Subjects enrolled in the repository are followed over time to allow new samples to be taken and to record important changes in clinical status. Studying the same sample population over time, and pooling knowledge in a central database, is a major step toward understanding what causes MS and similar diseases, thereby accelerating cures for those who are affected.
 
The Collection Site Network:
 
Contributing to the success of the project thus far is a network of nationally recognized research centers that have joined Accelerated Cure Project as collection sites for the repository. These include Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center (Boston, MA), The Rocky Mountain MS Center at Anschutz Medical Campus at the University of Colorado (Denver, CO), Johns Hopkins Medical Center (Baltimore, MD), University of Massachusetts Memorial Medical Center (Worcester, MA), University of Texas Southwestern (Dallas, TX), Multiple Sclerosis Research Center of New York (New York, NY), Barrow Neurological Institute (Phoenix, AZ), The Ohio State University Medical Center (Columbus, OH) and the Shepherd Center (Atlanta, GA).
 
The Accelerated Cure Project repository has enrolled over 1,950 participants to date, and the organization intends to continue collecting samples from as many as 10,000 subjects. People who have been diagnosed with MS, NMO, TM, ADEM, or ON, or who are related to someone with one of these diseases, and who would like to participate in the project are invited to call 781/487-0008, visit www.acceleratedcure.org/repository, or send an email to info-web1207@acceleratedcure.org.
 
About the Stanford University School of Medicine
 
The Stanford University School of Medicine consistently ranks among the nation's top 10 medical schools, integrating research, medical education, patient care and community service. The medical school is part of Stanford Medicine, which includes Stanford Hospital & Clinics and Lucile Packard Children's Hospital. For information about the School of Medicine, please visit http://med.stanford.edu.
 
About Accelerated Cure Project
 
Accelerated Cure Project for MS (ACP) is a nonprofit organization whose mission is to accelerate efforts toward a cure for multiple sclerosis (MS) by rapidly advancing research that determines its causes and mechanisms. We provide biomedical researchers with resources that catalyze open scientific collaboration and enable them to explore their novel research ideas rapidly and cost-efficiently. ACP’s strategic initiatives include the Multiple Sclerosis Discovery Forum and the ACP Repository, a large-scale collection of highly-characterized biosamples available to scientists at any organization conducting research that contributes to our mission. All results generated through analysis of Repository samples and data are contributed back to the ACP Repository Database, resulting in an increasingly valuable and comprehensive information resource that can be analyzed to reveal new insights about MS. To date, ACP has enrolled almost 3,000 participants into the Repository through a network of 10 MS clinical centers across the United States. The samples provided by people with MS and related disorders have supported more than 60 research studies worldwide and generated more than 150 million returned data points.
 
For more information about the Accelerated Cure Project or to make a corporate or individual donation, visit http://wwww.acceleratedcure.org, or send an email to info@acceleratedcure.org.
 
About Multiple Sclerosis
 
Multiple Sclerosis is a chronic demyelinating disorder of the central nervous system that often results in severe disability including the inability to walk, blindness, cognitive dysfunction, extreme fatigue, and other serious symptoms. MS affects more than 400,000 people in the US and two million individuals worldwide. The disorder occurs twice as often in women as in men. What causes MS is undetermined and no cure has yet been developed.