MMRC Genomics Initiative Selected for Two Presentations at American Society of Hematology (ASH) Annual Meeting

Atlanta — December 10, 2007
Comprehensive, Collaborative Effort Aims to Identify New Drug Targets for Myeloma

The Multiple Myeloma Research Consortium (MMRC), presented two abstracts, including one that was selected for oral presentation, based on data from the MMRC Multiple Myeloma Genomics Initiative at the 49th American Society of Hematology (ASH) Annual Meeting and Exposition, held here December 8-11.

The MMRC Multiple Myeloma Genomics Initiative is a genome-mapping program designed to rapidly accelerate progress made against multiple myeloma by significantly improving the understanding of the biology of the disease. Spearheaded by the MMRC, based on analysis of samples from the MMRC's tissue bank, and conducted in collaboration with the Translational Genomics Research Institute (TGen), the Multiple Myeloma Genomic Initiative comprises several research and discovery efforts spanning the spectrum of genomic science and is the most comprehensive research effort of its kind.

In an oral session, "Genome-Wide Profiling of Gene Expression and DNA Copy Number Alterations in Multiple Myeloma," Jonathan Keats, PhD, Mayo Clinic- Scottsdale presented an analysis of 94 patient tissue samples using high-resolution array-based comparative genomic hybridization (aCGH) and gene expression profiling (GEP) technologies. The analysis of these tissue samples, collected as part of the MMRC Genomics Initiative, revealed genetic similarities among certain types of multiple myeloma.

Notably, this dataset was disclosed in the launch of the MMRC Multiple Myeloma Genomics Portal, the world's only myeloma-specific repository of genomic data. The MMRC Multiple Myeloma Genomics Portal provides the scientific community with open access to high-resolution genomic data from the MMRC Multiple Myeloma Genomics Initiative pre-publication and in near real-time, providing academia and industry with an important opportunity to efficiently and effectively conduct critical analyses of multiple myeloma genome data.

"This is the first data presented from the MMRC Multiple Myeloma Genomics Initiative and represents an important step in understanding myeloma at a molecular level and in identifying new druggable targets for the disease," said Todd R. Golub, MD, Director of the Cancer Program at the Eli and Edythe L. Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard, and co-Principal Investigator of the MMRC Genomics Initiative.

In a second presentation, "The Multiple Myeloma Research Consortium Genomics Initiative," Louise Perkins, PhD, MMRF Research Director, and Rafael Fonseca, MD, Mayo Clinic-Scottsdale, provided an overview of the Multiple Myeloma Genomics Initiative and its critical role in discovering novel genetic targets for multiple myeloma.

"The MMRC is spearheading the Multiple Myeloma Genomics Initiative because there are still limited options available to treat this disease and the five-year survival remains unacceptably low," states MMRF and MMRC Founder and CEO, Kathy Giusti, who is also a myeloma patient. "The MMRC is committed to making data from this Initiative available without restriction via the MMRC Myeloma Portal so that researchers can use this information to identify new therapeutic targets and eventually develop better, more effective therapies for multiple myeloma."

The MMRC Multiple Myeloma Genomics Initiative and Multiple Myeloma Genomics Portal (http://www.broad.mit.edu/mmgp) has been made possible with funding from the MMRF.

About the MMRC

The Multiple Myeloma Research Consortium (MMRC) is a 509(a)3 non-profit organization that integrates leading academic institutions to accelerate drug development in multiple myeloma. It is led from MMRC offices in Norwalk, Conn., and comprises 13 member institutions: City of Hope, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, Emory University's Winship Cancer Institute, the Cancer Center at Hackensack University Medical Center, H. Lee Moffitt Cancer Center & Research Institute, Mayo Clinic, Ohio State University, Roswell Park Cancer Institute, St. Vincent's Comprehensive Cancer Center of Saint Vincent Catholic Medical Centers of New York, University Health Network (Princess Margaret Hospital), University of Chicago, University of Michigan, and Washington University.

The MMRC was founded in 2004 by Kathy Giusti, a myeloma patient, and with the help of the scientific community. The MMRC is a sister organization to the Multiple Myeloma Research Foundation (MMRF), the world's leading funder of multiple myeloma research. The MMRC is widely recognized as an optimal research model to rapidly address critical challenges in drug development and to explore opportunities in the today's most promising research areas–genomics, compound validation, and clinical trials. The MMRC is the only consortium to join academic institutions through membership agreements, customized IT systems, and an integrated tissue bank. For more information, please visit www.themmrc.org.


Anne Quinn Young (MMRF)
T. 203-229-0464
E. quinnyounga@www.themmrf.org