At least one cellular assay will be developed to investigate the impact of mutant huntingtin on protein folding.

Vertex Pharmaceuticals and CHDI Foundation have partnered to develop assays for use in discovering compounds for the treatment of Huntington’s disease. For this work, CHDI will provide Vertex up to approximately $4 million of research funding through the first quarter of 2010.

Vertex will retain rights to all discoveries that are the result of the collaboration and will license related tools back to CHDI for use in further Huntington’s disease research.

Vertex’s collaboration with CHDI will be focused on two main areas: errant protein folding and aggregation, a key cellular disruption that is believed to play a role in Huntington’s disease, and neurogenesis, a process that when disrupted, can result in Huntington’s disease-related cognitive and physical impairments. The primary goal of the collaboration will be to design at least one cellular assay that will be used to investigate the impact of mutant huntingtin on protein folding, which will enable screening of small molecule compounds that may reverse those effects.

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