MONTREAL, November 6 /CNW/ - Genizon BioSciences Inc. and
Neuropsychiatrie, Decouverte & Innovation Inc. (NDEI) today announced an
agreement under which the groups will collaborate to enhance and potentially
add to discoveries made by Genizon early this year in a genome-wide
association study of schizophrenia. Genizon's study identified multiple genes
associated with the disease using DNA samples from patients from the Quebec
Schizophrenia is a chronic, severe and disabling disease of the central
nervous system affecting between 0.5 percent and 1 percent of the adult
population worldwide. The causes involve both genetic and environmental
factors. Treatment generally involves the use of antipsychotic medication
which is effective in treating some disease symptoms, but can also produce
significant side effects.
NDEI, under the leadership of Dr. Michel Maziade, president of NeuroCite,
scientific director of the Centre de recherche Universite Laval Robert-Giffard
(CRULRG) and professor of Psychiatry at the University of Laval, will be
supplying a second set of samples collected from the Quebec Founder
Population. Genotyping of these samples and statistical analyses of the data
will be conducted at Genizon's St. Laurent, Quebec research center.
"We are delighted to be working with Dr. Maziade and his group," said Dr.
John Hooper, President and CEO of Genizon. "They have advanced expertise in
schizophrenia research, and this collaboration has significant potential to
enhance our discoveries in this disease."
"Schizophrenia is a truly devastating disease for both those afflicted
and their families," commented Dr. Maziade. "We expect the results of these
studies to lead to a new generation of safer and more effective treatments
tailored to individual schizophrenia patients. We are thrilled to be
collaborating with Genizon to achieve this goal."
Genizon has conducted eight genome-wide association studies to date,
covering a range of therapeutic areas. All studies have used samples from the
Quebec Founder Population which, because of its high level of genetic
homogeneity, is considered among the best populations worldwide for disease
Genizon and NDEI are dedicated to accelerating the development of
diagnostic and therapeutic solutions to schizophrenia.
SOVAR, the Societe de valorisation des applications de la recherche of
Laval University and affiliated hospitals, negotiated on behalf of NDEI for
Genizon BioSciences Inc., founded in 1999, is the only source for
GeneMaps-comprehensive maps of genes, genetic markers, biochemical pathways
and drug targets that are unequivocally involved in causing human
disease-accelerating the development of safer, more effective medicines.
GeneMaps also lead to the development of predictive diagnostics that
facilitate personalized medicine. Genizon's proprietary, automated gene
discovery platform using genome-wide association studies involving thousands
of members of the Quebec Founder Population provides unprecedented
understanding of the genetic origins and mechanisms of common diseases,
resulting in the best possible drug targets and genetic markers. The company's
GeneMaps provide pharmaceutical partners with intellectual property that
creates opportunities for leadership in many therapeutic areas by bringing to
market better treatments that address the root causes of diseases. Genizon is
conducting gene discovery programs in more than 25 common diseases. Genizon
also provides high-throughput, high quality SNP genotyping, genetic analysis,
gene expression and pharmacogenomics services to academic institutions,
research organizations and the biopharmaceutical industry.
NDEI, a spin-off company of the Centre de recherche Universite Laval
Robert-Giffard (CRULRG) is in the foreground of psychiatric genomic research.
Our mission is: to perform genetic and medical research to identify disease
genes, and drug and diagnostic targets for neuropsychiatric disorders,
particularly schizophrenia and bipolar disorders; to use modern informatics
technology to discover facts about mental health and neuropsychiatric disease
through the use of extensive clinical and DNA banks and longitudinal access,
established over the past 12 years, with the Eastern Quebec population and its
psychiatric clinical network; to use this knowledge to develop products and
services for the international mental healthcare industry. NDEI was founded in
2002 and is based in Quebec City, Canada.
SOVAR is a limited partnership whose mission is to promote the
discoveries and innovations developed by researchers at Universite Laval, the
CHUQ and the CHRG. SOVAR's experts work in synergy with the researchers to
promote their projects. The products, processes, services or technologies
developed are ultimately transferred to existing companies or to new companies
created to bring them to market.
For further information:
For further information: Genizon BioSciences Inc. Caroline Fortier,
514-708-4417 Vice President, Corporate Development
firstname.lastname@example.org or Schwartz Communications Lauren Arnold/Wendy
Mejia, 781-684-0770 email@example.com or NDEI Dr. Michel Maziade,
418-663-5744 Director firstname.lastname@example.org