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Feinstein Kean Healthcare
Accelerated Cure Project for Multiple Sclerosis Passes Critical Milestone in Accelerating Research into Causes of MS
WALTHAM, Mass., Nov. 28 /PRNewswire/ -- The Accelerated Cure Project for Multiple Sclerosis, a national nonprofit dedicated to curing MS by determining its causes, passed a critical milestone by shipping the first blood samples and subject data from its large-scale, multidisciplinary sample repository. Researchers at Oklahoma Medical Research Foundation will use the samples and data to investigate whether the Epstein-Barr virus may be a triggering agent for MS.
The Accelerated Cure Project's repository is the first to make its samples available for multi-disciplinary study, and the research data will be available to anyone looking for a cure for MS.
"This is the beginning of what we've been working toward," said Art Mellor, president and CEO, Accelerated Cure Project. "Getting our repository in working order is an important milestone for the work our group is undertaking, but also for MS research in general. Right now, sharing data in the way our repository does is unique, but we hope and believe a collaborative approach between research organizations and clinicians will uncover information that will lead us to a cure."
Because MS is a complex disease and likely the result of a combination of factors, it is important to be able to do multidisciplinary research on the same set of samples. Accelerated Cure Project collects blood samples and data year after year from the same subjects to be able to provide samples that track the course of the disease. Accelerated Cure Project is also collecting samples and data from first-degree relatives and other matched controls. These samples are very valuable to researchers.
Since its founding in 2001, Accelerated Cure Project has worked on developing a "Cure Map" to establish what is and is not known about the causes of MS. At the same time, the group has raised awareness and funds for its repository. After a year long pilot study in which the process of collecting samples and data was tested, the group is poised to begin its main study. The pilot took place in two locations, and resulted in the collection of samples and data from 40 subjects. Accelerated Cure Project's goal is to collect 1,000 samples from 5-10 sites nationwide over the next 18 months. Additional information regarding Accelerated Cure Project's efforts and resources may be found on its website, http://www.acceleratedcure.org
About Oklahoma Medical Research Foundation
The Oklahoma Medical Research Foundation (OMRF) is one of the oldest, most respected independent research institutes in the nation. Located in Oklahoma City -- America's heartland -- OMRF fosters a worldwide reputation for excellence by following an innovative cross-disciplinary approach to biomedical research. OMRF scientists rank among the top in academic and independent research institutes nationally for receipt of competitive research funds. OMRF has set a clear goal to be among the finest research institutes in the nation, and it is making the investments today to keep pace with the unprecedented growth and change occurring in the field of biomedical research. OMRF is committed to staying at the forefront of biomedical discovery so "more can live longer, healthier lives."
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.
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.