The Lieber Institute for Brain Development (LIBD), an independent nonprofit, and pharmaceutical companies Astellas, Eli Lilly, Lundbeck, Pfizer and Roche are participating in an early-stage research consortium to analyze RNA, the genomic and epigenetic data obtained from human brains. The goal of the consortium is to expand knowledge around the genetic contribution to brain disorders in the hope of identifying potential new treatment options.
"Our goal in creating this collaboration with the private industry is to speed discoveries that may improve the lives of individuals suffering from brain disorders," said Daniel R. Weinberger, M.D., director and CEO of the LIBD. "This consortium is a bold initiative with the potential to have broad relevance across the spectrum of human brain disorders. By uniting diverse scientists from different sectors, we have created a new model of cooperative research that is designed to accomplish ambitious goals with efficiency and focus."
LIBD has the world's most extensive collection of human brain specimens, over 1,300 brains, spanning the normal human lifespan from fetal life to late life and hundreds of brain samples from individuals who had developmental brain disorders during life. This rare collection of brain samples offers an opportunity to study how genes and the environment construct a brain and potentially identify new and effective treatments for brain illnesses.
Astellas, Eli Lilly, Lundbeck, Pfizer and Roche, as members of the consortium, will seek to convert basic scientific findings into new treatment options for people living with developmental brain disorders.