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Genomics Collaborative And Whitehead Institute Collaborate On Large Population-based Study Of Y-Chromosome Role In Infertility

10/19/2005 5:10:33 PM

CAMBRIDGE, Mass.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--March 22, 2004-- Pioneer in biological samples provision and the use of human genetics in target validation teams with world leader in biomedical research to conduct large-scale DNA study of Y-chromosome deficiency in men

As part of the largest known genetics-based infertility study to date, Genomics Collaborative, Inc. (GCI), the leader in providing clinical samples and the application of human genetics to target validation for drug discovery, today announced a partnership with Whitehead Institute for Biomedical Research to examine the human Y-chromosome's role in male infertility.

Scientists from both GCI and Whitehead will study a very large number of human male DNA samples to uncover Y-chromosome variations that may cause or predispose to failure in manufacturing sperm cells. The collaboration will examine the prevalence of Y-chromosome deletions of several specific genes in several populations worldwide, including the U.S. The scientific teams will begin their search through a pilot study of DNA samples from 4,000 U.S. males. If successful, the research program will expand to include samples from over 20,000 additional males worldwide. The DNA samples to be tested are part of GCI's Global Repository(R).

"This is a very important study from a large-scale genetics validation standpoint," said David C. Page, Associate Director of Science of Whitehead Institute. "Up until now, almost all studies on the role of this Y-chromosome deletion have been limited to clinics. If we are going to understand the broader implications of this genetic variation for male infertility, we need to determine its prevalence in the general population."

"We are excited to be collaborating with Whitehead in this endeavor," said Kristin Ardlie, VP of Genetics at GCI. "The research goal is ambitious, requiring analysis of a vast number of human genetic samples. We couldn't ask for a stronger partner in this field than Whitehead. Their analytical capabilities are unparalleled, and we look forward to compelling results."

About Whitehead Institute

Whitehead Institute for Biomedical Research is a nonprofit, independent research and educational institution. Wholly independent in its governance, finances and research programs, Whitehead shares a close affiliation with Massachusetts Institute of Technology through its faculty, who hold joint MIT appointments.

About Genomics Collaborative

Genomics Collaborative, Inc. (GCI) is pioneering the application of human genetics to target validation for drug discovery and diagnostics. GCI's drug validation programs combine access to its Global Repository(R) of human DNA, tissue and serum with insights from its highly specialized team of scientists.

Open access to the specimens within GCI's Global Repository(R) allows clients to gain insight into a potential target's value in humans at the earliest possible stages of drug discovery and development. The result is rapid prioritization of the most promising targets for clinical development, potentially shaving years from the discovery-to-commercial drug development pipeline.

Leveraging Global Repository(R), GCI offers a spectrum of services ranging from fee-for-service access to human tissue, DNA, and serum samples to customized gene expression and candidate gene validation studies. Global Repository(R) is the world's largest and most comprehensive library of 550,000 human genetic samples and detailed clinical records, collected from 120,000 patients representing important populations worldwide. GCI's samples represent most pharmaceutically relevant disease states, including common and rare cancers, as well as inflammatory, endocrine, and cardiovascular disorders, and more.

GCI has signed more than 100 partnerships and access agreements with over 40 pharmaceuticals and biotechnology companies, including Pfizer, Inc., Novartis AG, Celera Diagnostics, and Johnson & Johnson, Inc.

For more information, contact Kevin Krenitsky, MD at 617-661-2400, or visit


Boston Communications Mario Fante, 617-619-9805 or

Genomics Collaborative Kevin Krenitsky, MD, 617-661-2400

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