Genomic Profiling of Lupus

Partnership objective

Identify biomarkers relevant to future therapies in the area of Systemic Lupus Erythematosus and Lupus Nephritis.

A partnership to foster exchange of technology expertise in the area of computational and experimental genomic profiling. A partnership to foster exchange of technology expertise in the area of computational and experimental genomic profiling. Copyright Merck

What are the needs and challenges?

Systemic Lupus Erythematosus (SLE) is a systemic autoimmune disease, and can cause Lupus Nephritis (LN), an inflammation of the kidney. In SLE patients, in addition to the kidney, other tissues and organs can be affected, including the skin, the nervous system, or joints.

Description of partnership activities and how they address needs and challenges

This collaboration of EMD Serono, subsidiary of Merck, and Pfizer, is focused on the genomic profiling of Systemic Lupus Erythematosus (SLE) and Lupus Nephritis (LN) patients.

As part of the collaboration, the Broad Institute will investigate clinical samples obtained from SLE and LN patients, applying biochemical and next-generation sequencing technologies. They will also analyze immune cell subpopulations. The goal is to identify biomarkers to better define target patient populations for future therapies. In addition, through computational modeling approaches, the project aims to identify key molecular drivers of SLE and LN kidney flares, and thereby to discover potential novel drug targets as the basis for innovative therapies.

Under the terms of the agreement, EMD Serono and Pfizer, as sponsoring members, will receive real-time access to all data and analysis. In addition, both companies will have the ability to send a research scientist to the Broad Institute to foster exchange of technology expertise in the area of computational and experimental genomic profiling.

Partnership information

Company(ies) Merck , Pfizer

Partner(s) Broad Institute

Type of Partner(s) Academia / Hospitals

Therapeutic Focus Non-Communicable Diseases

Disease(s) Autoimmune Diseases

Program Type(s) Availability of Treatment - Technology Transfer - Scientific Collaboration and Knowledge Sharing, Research & Development - Operations Research

Targeted Population(s) Men, Patients in needs of treatment, Women

Region(s) North America

Number of Countries 1

Country(ies) United States of America

Start Date 2014

More information Press Release

Anticipated completion date Ongoing

« Technical advances now make it possible for us to sequence RNA in very small numbers of cells, enabling us to be more comprehensive in our analysis of cell types and states in Lupus patients. »

Prof. Nir Hacohen, Associate Professor at Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard Medical School, and Senior Associate Member at the Broad Institute