MMRF PRESS RELEASES
MMRC Multiple Myeloma Genomics Initiative First to Sequence Complete Myeloma Genomes
Norwalk, CT — July 27, 2009
The Multiple Myeloma Research Foundation (MMRF) and Multiple Myeloma Research Consortium (MMRC) today announced the MMRC Multiple Myeloma Genomics Initiative has completed the sequencing of the first multiple myeloma whole genomes. This is the first time multiple myeloma whole genomes have been sequenced and will be used to identify key targets for new treatments.
"Groundbreaking data from the MMRC Multiple Myeloma Genomics Initiative will play an important role in developing better treatment options for individuals who derive little benefit from existing therapies and may ultimately help provide multiple myeloma patients with the most appropriate treatment for his or her disease," Louise M. Perkins, PhD, Chief Scientific Officer of the MMRF. "Furthermore, knowledge from this effort could also benefit patients with other types of cancer."
The critical task of analyzing the data from the project, conducted in collaboration with the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard, is now underway, and additional genomes are also being sequenced. A portal to facilitate data access is being constructed and these first complete multiple myeloma genomes will be made available to researchers everywhere within the next several months.
"Through its extraordinary generosity and vision, the MMRF is enabling the important work of whole genome sequencing for multiple myeloma, and making the data publicly accessible," said Todd R. Golub, MD, Director of the Broad Institute's Cancer Program and co-principal investigator of the MMRC Multiple Myeloma Genomics Initiative. "This is a remarkable beginning."
The Multiple Myeloma Genomics Initiative is a comprehensive genomic analysis program designed to rapidly accelerate progress made against multiple myeloma by significantly improving the understanding of the biology of the disease. Spearheaded by the MMRF and conducted in collaboration with the Broad Institute and the Translational Genomics Research Institute (TGen), the Multiple Myeloma Genomics Initiative utilizes tissue samples from the MMRC Tissue Bank to advance cutting-edge research and discovery efforts that span the spectrum of genomic science. Data from the Initiative are placed into the public domain in near-real time via the Multiple Myeloma Genomics Portal, the world's only myeloma-specific repository of genomic data, and can be accessed at www.myelomagenomics.org.
The Multiple Myeloma Genomics Initiative has also just completed two other high resolution genomics profiling studies performed at TGen on the full Reference Collection of 250 patient's multiple myeloma tumor tissue. Jeffrey Trent, PhD, President and Scientific Director of TGen and co-principal investigator on the Multiple Myeloma Genomics Initiative, said, "The Multiple Myeloma Genomics Initiative has created an unprecedented opportunity to examine an extraordinary breadth of genomic information to pinpoint the most important genes and cellular processes driving the disease. Such a remarkable dataset exists for very few other cancers; it will no doubt pave the way toward personalized medicine for multiple myeloma patients."
About the Multiple Myeloma Research Foundation
The Multiple Myeloma Research Foundation (MMRF) was established in 1998 as a 501(c)3 non-profit organization by twin sisters Karen Andrews and Kathy Giusti, soon after Kathy's diagnosis with multiple myeloma. The mission of the MMRF is to relentlessly pursue innovative means that accelerate the development of next-generation multiple myeloma treatments to extend the lives of patients and lead to a cure. As the world's number-one private funder of multiple myeloma research, the MMRF has raised over $120 million since its inception to fund nearly 100 laboratories worldwide. An outstanding 90% of funds raised go toward research and related programming. The MMRF has supported 40 new compounds and approaches in clinical trials and pre- clinical studies and has facilitated 19 clinical trials through its sister organization, the Multiple Myeloma Research Consortium (MMRC). For more information about the MMRF, visit www.www.themmrf.org.
About the Multiple Myeloma Research Consortium
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 15 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 in St. Louis. 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.