SAN DIEGO, CA–Jun 18, 2008 — The International Regulome Consortium (IRC) announced today it has signed a non-binding letter of intent with Invitrogen Corporation (NasdaqGS:IVGN – News) to develop tools for stem cell research that will aid in the development of new therapies for some of the world’s most debilitating diseases. The agreement was signed here yesterday at the annual meeting of the Biotechnology Industry Organization.
Invitrogen will contribute services and technology to help IRC researchers in their goal of mapping the genetic circuit board that regulates how stem cells give rise to specialized cells such as neurons. IRC is a third generation genome project, involving 58 researchers from 34 institutions in 12 countries.
“I am delighted that Invitrogen has chosen to partner with the IRC. Invitrogen brings tremendous expertise and strength in stem cell biology to this important international consortium. Without question, this participation will accelerate the IRC’s research program,” said Dr. Michael Rudnicki, Scientific Director of the International Regulome Consortium and Senior Scientist at the Ottawa Health Research Institute in Ontario, Canada.
The IRC builds upon the work of the Human Genome Project, which in 2001 produced a detailed description of the more than 20,000 genes in the human body. The IRC is using sophisticated laboratory techniques combined with advanced data analysis to determine how these genes are regulated in stem cells and in the specialized cells they give rise to. The implications of this research are immense, with insights expected to lead to powerful new regenerative approaches for treating and curing disease.
About the International Regulome Consortium
The International Regulome Consortium (IRC) is a third generation genomics project mapping the genetic circuit board that regulates the formation and function of cells. The project will define the genetic regulation of different types of cells with an initial emphasis on those involved in the formation and function of neural tissues. Launched in 2004 with seed funding from the Government of Ontario in Canada, the IRC now includes 58 researchers from 34 institutions in 12 countries, with funding of more than $60 million US.
The Canadian research program and the secretariat for the Consortium are supported by Genome Canada and the Ontario Genomics Institute.
The new knowledge generated by IRC will set the stage for a powerful new paradigm of health-medicine centered on the regeneration of diseased or dysfunctional tissues that is at once personalized, predictive and preventive. In a larger context, the IRC’s gene regulation discoveries will serve as an enabling knowledge base that informs virtually the entire field of molecular biology. For more information, see http://www.internationalregulomeconsortium.ca/.