Boston Cure Project For MS And Genomics Collaborative Partner To Establish MS Blood, Tissue And Data Bank

For Immediate Release

For more information contact:
Belinda Vandervoort, belinda@bostoncure.org, 781-235-2882
Krista Milne, krista.milne@comcast.net, 617/969-0770
Art Mellor, art@bostoncure.org, 781/487-0008

BOSTON CURE PROJECT FOR MS AND GENOMICS COLLABORATIVE PARTNER TO ESTABLISH MS BLOOD, TISSUE AND DATA BANK

Waltham and Cambridge, Mass. -- June 11, 2003 -- The Boston Cure Project for Multiple Sclerosis (MS) today announced it signed an agreement with Genomics Collaborative, Inc. (GCI) to further Boston Cure Project's multidisciplinary Blood, Tissue and Data Bank pilot to find the causes of MS that lead to a cure. The Tissue and Data Bank is a critical element that proactively increases collaboration amongst MS researchers, in addition to enabling cross-disciplinary breakthroughs not currently possible through individual studies. 

Under the terms of the agreement, GCI will help develop the Tissue and Data Bank study protocol, help create an informed consent form for participants, generate and distribute sample kits, prepare and store samples, enter and store sample data (medical and epidemiological), and distribute samples to select researchers' saving Boston Cure Project over an estimated million dollars. The companies established a pay-as-you go procedure whereby the Boston Cure Project will pay GCI under $200 per subject sample. 

"Genomics Collaborative is providing a cost effective way for us to implement our Blood, Tissue and Data Bank pilot, in addition to helping us make an unprecedented number of samples available to MS researchers in a follow-on study," says Art Mellor, CEO, Boston Cure Project for MS. "After researching several genomic companies, partnering with GCI made perfect sense given its experience effectively managing over 120,000 samples and proximity." 

"Genomics Collaborative is pleased to provide its expertise in tissue and DNA banking to the Boston Cure Project for Multiple Sclerosis. We hope GCI's contribution to this program will help researchers determine the underlying causes of MS," says Michael Pellini, M.D., President and Chief Executive Officer of GCI.

The goals of the Blood, Tissue and Data Bank are to: increase scientific collaboration through access to a multidisciplinary resource, free-up time consuming and expensive subject acquisition and sample collection, and make MS a more attractive research area for scientists and companies inventing new technologies. For example, blood and tissue samples from a common set of subjects will be made available to multiple scientists investigating critical questions about the causes of Multiple Sclerosis in different areas. Results from each of these experiments will be collected in the Data bank so they can be analyzed together, enabling cross-disciplinary breakthroughs. 

About Genomics Collaborative

Genomics Collaborative, Inc. (GCI), a privately-held biotechnology company, has developed expertise in applying the science of human genetics to drug and diagnostic discovery decisions. The Company's approach links human genes, proteins, and clinical outcomes through proprietary technology platforms. GCI's state-of-the-art technology offers a highly efficient method to validate genomics-based drug and diagnostic targets, and has already been validated through partnerships with more than 30 pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies. The Company has prospectively enrolled over 120,000 patients in Global Repository, and patient recruitment continues in many disease states.

About The Boston Cure Project

The Boston Cure Project for Multiple Sclerosis, www.bostoncure.org, is a national nonprofit organization dedicated to curing Multiple Sclerosis (MS) by determining its causes. Boston Cure Project believes this effort can be accelerated by organizing the research process and encouraging collaboration between research organizations and clinicians. A "Cure Map" is currently being developed by the Boston Cure Project to establish what is known and what is not known about the causes of MS. From the Cure Map, Boston Cure Project will facilitate research most likely to reveal the causes of MS in the shortest time through a large-scale, multidisciplinary, MS Repository. For more information about the Boston Cure Project or to make a corporate or individual donation, call 781/487-0008, visit bostoncure.org, or send an email to info-web0706@bostoncure.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 over 400,000 people in the US and 2 million individuals worldwide. The disorder occurs twice as often in women as in men. The cause is not known and there is no known cure.