Cuomo proposes project to map genes of 1 million to fight Alzheimer's

1010 WINS Newsroom
February 21, 2020 - 9:29 am

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NEW YORK (1010 WINS) -- Governor Andrew Cuomo announced on Friday a 30-day amendment to the FY 2021 Executive Budget which will include legislation to establish the SUNY Curing Alzheimer's Health Consortium within the State University of New York. 

Researchers would aim to map the genes of one million people living with or at-risk of Alzheimer's disease over five years through a proposed initiative at the State University of New York.

They will work to identify genes that predict an increased risk for developing Alzheimer's and collaborate with public and private research institutions on projects and studies to identify opportunities to develop new therapeutic treatment and cures for Alzheimer's.

The new data will support researchers as they work towards developing new treatments and cures for the disease.

Cuomo said the initiative will collect and map genomic data statewide and eventually provide the data to researchers working to slow the progression of Alzheimer's.

"Alzheimer's Disease affects hundreds of thousands of New Yorkers each year and takes a devastating toll on both patients and caregivers who lack access to sufficient treatment options due to an insufficient body of research" Governor Cuomo said. "Genomics have made significant progress in the diagnosis and treatment of diseases ranging from cancer to cardiovascular disease, and could present major breakthroughs in the fight against Alzheimer's Disease.

New York's Department of Health estimates 390,000 individuals in New York had Alzheimer's disease in 2017 - a figure expected to increase to 460,000 by 2025.

The Curing Alzheimer's Health Consortium will collect genomic data on a statewide scale and support genetic researchers as they work to slow the deadly progress of this disease."

SUNY will issue a request for proposals in partnership with Empire State Development's Life Sciences Initiative for private providers to partner with the SUNY system and other not-for-profit and private hospitals, and non-profit higher education research institutions to map the genomes of individuals suffering from or at risk of Alzheimer's.

There will be $20M in funding provided by the ESD Life Science Initiative to the Consortium to identify and recruit 200,000 people for genetic testing as part of phase one of the initiative.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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