MMRF, MMRC Launch Multiple Myeloma Genomics Portal

Norwalk, Conn. — August 1, 2007
Initial Data from MMRC Genomics Initiative Released

The Multiple Myeloma Research Foundation (MMRF) and Multiple Myeloma Research Consortium (MMRC) today announced 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.

"This release of the MMRC Multiple Myeloma Genomics Portal provides academia and industry with an important opportunity to efficiently and effectively conduct critical analyses of multiple myeloma genome data. When fully implemented, the MMRC Multiple Myeloma Genomics Portal will contain sophisticated bioinformatic tools to study complex datasets," said MMRF and MMRC Founder and CEO Kathy Giusti. "It is our sincere hope that this important resource will enable researchers to determine what genes and molecular pathways play a role in the onset and progression of myeloma, identify new druggable targets for the disease, and ultimately lead to the development of better, more effective therapies for myeloma."

The MMRC Multiple Myeloma Genomics Portal is a critical component of the MMRC Multiple Myeloma Genomics Initiative, a cutting-edge genome-mapping program spearheaded and funded by the MMRF and MMRC and conducted with the support of and in collaboration with the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard and the Translational Genomics Research Institute (TGen). Comprised of several research and discovery efforts spanning the spectrum of genomic science, the MMRC Multiple Myeloma Genomics Initiative is the most comprehensive research effort of its kind.

"The MMRC Multiple Myeloma Genomics Portal represents an important step in making genomic data available to the scientific community without restriction. The commitment to make these data available prior to publication means that scientists worldwide will have immediate access to the data, enabling a more rapid pace of scientific inquiry," said Todd Golub, MD, Director of the Cancer Program at the Broad Institute and a pediatric oncologist at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute.

The MMRC Multiple Myeloma Genomics Portal's launch includes the first disclosure of an MMRC dataset containing the highest-resolution DNA copy number analysis of patient's multiple myeloma tumor tissue published to date with matching gene expression profiles on 94 samples, as well as data from other myeloma genomic efforts.

In the coming months, preliminary data from RNA interference (RNAi) screens will be placed in the MMRC Multiple Myeloma Genomics Portal; when fully analyzed, the RNAi screening results will help guide the selection of novel targeted therapeutics for treating multiple myeloma. In addition, sophisticated bioinformatics tools will be added to the MMRC Multiple Myeloma Genomics Portal within the next year, and the inclusion of data from genomic studies in other cancers is planned. By mid-2009, the MMRC Multiple Myeloma Genomics Initiative will have screened a total of 250 patient samples using a broad range of state-of-the-art genomic approaches; data from these screens will be immediately placed in the MMRC Multiple Myeloma Genomics Portal.

"The MMRF and MMRC's commitment to providing the scientific community with access to this quantity and quality of data offers a remarkable opportunity to advance myeloma research and drug development," said Jeffrey Trent, PhD, President and Scientific Director of TGen. "Ultimately, this can result in better treatment options for patients who so urgently need them."

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

About the Multiple Myeloma Research Consortium (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 http://www.themmrc.org.