ATCC Launches Custom Cell Lines Funded by The Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Research

New cell lines will advance understanding of Parkinson’s disease and speed progress toward a cure

MANASSAS, Va., (April 21, 2016) — ATCC, a global leader in biological materials management and standards, today announced the release of three cell lines for investigating biological processes associated with a key Parkinson’s disease genetic target. The production and authentication of these tools is funded by The Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Research (MJFF).

Parkinson’s is a chronic, degenerative neurological disorder that affects one in 100 people over age 60. Recent research indicates that as many as one million Americans, and more than five million people worldwide, live with Parkinson’s disease.

“For over 90 years, ATCC has contributed to scientific breakthroughs through the provision of high-quality biological products and services to researchers all around the world,” said Dr. Raymond H. Cypess, ATCC Chairman and CEO. “We are honored to partner with the Michael J. Fox Foundation to help researchers better understand the onset and progression of Parkinson’s, develop advanced therapies, and speed progress toward a cure.”

Mutations in the leucine-rich repeat kinase 2 (LRRK2) gene are the greatest known genetic cause of Parkinson’s disease. A major foci of research is to better understand the pathology caused by such mutations and to develop treatments to address LRRK2 dysfunction.

ATCC’s new cell lines are derived from cells of the immune system called macrophages that may play a role in the inflammation associated with Parkinson’s. Therefore, these tools may also help researchers better understand the neuroinflammatory process in LRRK2 Parkinson’s disease.

ATCC’s Michael J. Fox Foundation collection includes a LRRK2 control as well as two mutant LRRK2 cell lines:

“LRRK2 is a priority target for Parkinson’s drug development, but we still have much to learn about its role in the disease,” said Shalini Padmanabhan, Ph.D., MJFF associate director of research programs. “These cell lines will enable important research that will help us advance our understanding of LRRK2 in Parkinson’s and identify new treatments.”

About ATCC

ATCC is a leader in biological materials management, providing the worldwide scientific community and U.S. government with research and development, products, and services in support of global health issues. With a history of innovation spanning more than 90 years, ATCC offers the world’s largest and most diverse collection of human and animal cell lines, microorganisms, biological products, and standards. ATCC is a non-profit organization with headquarters in Manassas, VA, and an R&D and services center in Gaithersburg, MD.

About The Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Research

As the world’s largest nonprofit funder of Parkinson’s research, The Michael J. Fox Foundation is dedicated to accelerating a cure for Parkinson’s disease and improved therapies for those living with the condition today. The Foundation pursues its goals through an aggressively funded, highly targeted research program coupled with active global engagement of scientists, Parkinson’s patients, business leaders, clinical trial participants, donors and volunteers. In addition to funding more than $600 million in research to date, the Foundation has fundamentally altered the trajectory of progress toward a cure. Operating at the hub of worldwide Parkinson’s research, the Foundation forges groundbreaking collaborations with industry leaders, academic scientists and government research funders; increases the flow of participants into Parkinson’s disease clinical trials with its online tool, Fox Trial Finder; promotes Parkinson’s awareness through high-profile advocacy, events and outreach; and coordinates the grassroots involvement of thousands of Team Fox members around the world.