A unit of Rutgers’ Human Genetics Institute of New Jersey, RUCDR is the world’s largest university-based biorepository. Target ALS Foundation is a privately funded non-profit foundation “entirely focused on finding treatments for patients living with ALS” or amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, a fatal neurodegenerative disease known as Lou Gehrig’s disease.
Manish Raisinghani, M.B.B.S., Ph.D., president of Target ALS Foundation, says his organization accelerates ALS drug development by funding consortia-based collaborative projects that require direct involvement of industry as well as by expansion and creation of shared core facilities that lower barriers for academia and industry to pursue ALS drug development.
“This is the first initiative of its kind to assist ALS researchers in academia and industry by providing stem cells lines for their use while permitting them to retain the data and intellectual property generated by their work,” Raisinghani said.
To date more than 50 academic researchers and two dozen companies are using the foundation’s stem cells and that number should increase significantly with the additional capabilities and capacity provided by RUCDR. Target ALS currently has 10 stem cells lines in its repository with additional lines in its pipeline.
“By providing a reliable resource for high quality stem cell lines from Target ALS subjects, we anticipate that our collaboration will encourage scientists around the world to both utilize the existing cell lines as well as contribute new lines to this important collection,” said Michael Sheldon, director of the RUCDR Stem Cell Center.
The services RUCDR will offer on behalf of Target ALS will be expanding to include genetically modified stem cell lines. The National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS) Human Cell and Data Repository (NHCDR), operated under a grant awarded to RUCDR, has added the Target ALS stem cell bank to its widely used online catalog.
About RUCDR Infinite Biologics – Located on Rutgers’ Busch Campus in Piscataway, RUCDR Infinite Biologics offers a complete and integrated selection of biological sample processing, analysis and biorepository services to government agencies, academic institutions, foundations and biotechnology and pharmaceutical companies within the global scientific community. RUCDR provides DNA, RNA and cell lines with clinical data to hundreds of research laboratories for studies on mental health and developmental disorders, drug and alcohol abuse, diabetes and digestive, liver and kidney diseases. RUCDR is the primary genomics resources for research funded by National Institute of Mental Health and provides services to many of the world’s leading pharmaceutical and biotech companies. In 2012, RUCDR created the Bioprocessing Solutions Alliance, a state-of-the-art scientific and technology infrastructure for the delivery of advanced sample bioprocessing and biobanking solutions, with business partner BioStorage Technologies.
About Target ALS – Target ALS Foundation (www.targetals.org) is a non-profit organization with the overall goal of accelerating development of new treatments for ALS. We drive emergence of novel ALS drug discovery programs in industry by funding collaborative consortia focused on development of novel therapeutic targets. To ensure that all new ideas get tested, we make essential tools and resources openly available to all – especially young investigators – with no embargo or strings attached.
About Rutgers – Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey, is a leading national research university. Established in 1766 and celebrating a milestone 250th anniversary in 2016, the university is the eighth oldest higher education institution in the United States. More than 67,000 students and 22,000 faculty and staff learn, work, and serve the public at Rutgers locations across New Jersey and around the world. Rutgers University–New Brunswick is the only public institution in New Jersey represented in the prestigious Association of American Universities. Rutgers is a member of the Big Ten Conference and its academic counterpart, the Committee on Institutional Cooperation, a consortium of 15 world-class research universities. Rutgers is among the top 20 public universities nationally for total R&D funding and achieved an 18.3% increase in overall funding for research and sponsored programs in the last fiscal year over the previous year, from $518 million in fiscal year 2014 up to $613 million last year. The Office of Research and Economic Development is a central point for industry to access Rutgers and offers a website designed for the business community, businessportal.rutgers.edu.