Broken String Biosciences to collaborate with Francis Crick Institute on ALS goal

Broken String Biosciences is partnering with the Francis Crick Institute to advance amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) research.

The goal of the collaboration is to expand applications of DNA break-mapping technology and advance understanding of genomic instability in development of ALS, a neurodegenerative disease which causes gradual loss of the ability to control voluntary movements and basic bodily functions.

In partnership with leading researchers at the world-leading biomedical discovery institute dedicated to understanding the biology underlying health and disease, the project aims to develop novel applications for Broken String’s proprietary DNA break-mapping platform, INDUCE-seq, beyond its established capabilities in gene-editing.

The research will be focused on leveraging the technology to investigate the impact of genomic instability in the development of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS).

The collaboration is focused on understanding the contribution of genome stability to ALS, combining the interests of Prof Simon Boulton and Dr Nishita Parnandi at the Crick focused on genome stability and DNA double-strand break (DSB), with Prof Rickie Patani and Dr Giulia Tyzack, interested in understanding the underlying mechanism of ALS disease mechanism.

Recognising the utility of the novel INDUCE-seq platform developed by Broken String’s R&D team, led by Professor Simon Reed, the Crick and Broken String teams aim to collaborate to demonstrate and further validate the INDUCE-seq technology.

The partnership has been secured via the Francis Crick Institute’s Business Engagement Fund, a new initiative supported by The Medical Research Council (MRC-UKRI), that is designed to encourage collaborations with small-to-medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) and strengthen the Crick’s engagement with industry.

“Our research is focused on exploring how cells repair damage to their DNA, and how failures in this process lead to disease,” said Dr Simon Boulton, principal group leader, the Boulton Lab (DSB Repair Metabolism) at the Francis Crick Institute. “Following exploratory work with Professor Reed, we were keen to collaborate with Broken String.

“We are excited to leverage the INDUCE-seq platform’s unique capabilities in directly measuring and quantifying DNA double-strand breaks, and applying this to deepen our understanding of diseases that have genomic instability as a contributing factor, such as ALS.”

Felix Dobbs, CEO of Broken String Biosciences, which is based at the BioData Innovation Centre on the Wellcome Genome Campus, said: “This collaboration with the Crick Institute is validation of our differentiated approach to DNA break-mapping; enabling our team to support world-leading research with insights provided through our INDUCE-seq platform. It demonstrates a fantastic opportunity to apply our expertise across other key research areas to support the advancement of human health.

“There is an unmet clinical need for effective ALS treatments, as well as strategies for earlier diagnosis that can significantly improve patient outcomes. We look forward to working closely with Dr Boulton and Professor Patani’s groups to support this critical research area and continue building out our application focuses.”


Article source: www.cambridgeindependent.co.uk
Published: 07.05.24