June 01, 2008 Removing Resource Barriers for HD Researchers
Camden, New Jersey — To enable the discovery of therapeutics that will slow or delay Huntington’s disease (HD), research scientists require unobstructed access to biomaterials. Working together with the Coriell Institute for Medical Research, CHDI Foundation has established a secure, centralized repository to store and distribute quality-controlled and reliable research reagents. It is called the HD Community BioRepository.
“We built this repository with the idea that easy, centralized access to these bioresources will accelerate research efforts into treatments for this devastating disease,” explained Dr. Douglas Macdonald, a director at CHDI Management and the project’s leader. “Partnering with the Coriell Institute, a leader in the storage, quality control, and distribution of biological resources, means that these materials are trustworthy. With easier access to DNA plasmids, cell lines, and antibodies specific for Huntington’s disease research, we hope to lower the barrier for entry and thus lure a greater number of scientists to the field to help us face the challenges posed by research and development for the disease.”
Huntington’s disease is a fatal, familial disease caused by a mutation in the huntingtin gene. The mutation causes brain cells to malfunction, resulting in cognitive and physical impairments that, over the course of the disease, isolate and constrain the individual. There is currently no way to stop or reverse the course of Huntington’s disease.
The HD Community BioRepository (http://ccr.coriell.org/Sections/Collections/CHDI/?SsId=45) currently provides access to 53 huntingtin DNAs engineered in various laboratories, some working with CHDI. Many others are now being prepared. In the future, CHDI will also deposit antibodies with antigenic peptides, cell lines, and hybridomas when they become available.
“CHDI’s commitment to providing laboratories with essential resources facilitated the design of our new IT system which supports the repositories and accelerates the online process for requesting materials,” said Joe Mintzer, COO at Coriell. This system will likely serve as a prototype for Coriell’s other collections. This innovation was important in streamlining access to CHDI and other Huntington’s disease bioresources and reducing the cost of supporting the systems.”
Researchers currently not collaborating with CHDI Foundation may request these Huntington’s disease resources from the HD Community BioRepository through the website; CHDI collaborators should contact Mithra Mahmoudi at CHDI Management. Materials will be sent after completing a simple online MTA. Recipients are asked to cover the costs of shipping and handling.
Persons who are interested in making their HD bioresources available to the research community through the HD Community BioRepository are encouraged to contact Mithra Mahmoudi.
Mithra Mahmoudi, MS
Biological Repositories Manager
CHDI Management, Inc.
Lorraine H. Toji, Ph.D.