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Mass. General, Broad Institute and Amgen Will Work to Discover New Drugs for Inflammatory Bowel Disease
Date:1/15/2014

THOUSAND OAKS, Calif., Jan. 15, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH), the Broad Institute, and Amgen (NASDAQ: AMGN) announced today that they have launched a strategic collaboration to jointly discover and validate new therapeutic targets and develop novel therapies for inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), a chronic disorder that affects millions worldwide. The MGH-Broad-Amgen collaboration brings together scientists with expertise in clinical medicine, IBD biology, human genetics, genomic technology, and drug discovery to work together to help create a new world of therapeutic options for IBD patients.

"We are thrilled to be working together with our Amgen colleagues in this visionary collaboration," said Ramnik Xavier, chief of gastroenterology and director of the Center for the Study of Inflammatory Bowel Disease at Massachusetts General Hospital and a senior associate member of the Broad Institute. "I look forward to a fruitful collaboration, translating discoveries of IBD genes and biology into novel drugs for IBD patients." 

IBD is well known to run in families, suggesting that genes play a significant role in the development and progression of disease. However, until recently, almost nothing was known about the specific genes and mechanisms that predispose — or protect — someone from developing the disorder. Scientists have now pinpointed more than 150 regions of the genome — up from two just a decade ago — that place a person at risk for developing IBD. Despite the recent progress in understanding the biology of IBD, there remains a critical need:  treatments that make use of scientists' new knowledge are urgently needed. While drugs developed over the last decade have led to some marked improvements in IBD treatment, the drugs are not always effective a
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