Since 1985, through our Translational Research Advancing Therapies for ALS (TREAT ALS™) program, The ALS Association has funded more than $99 million in research and clinical management projects. In fact, this unrelenting focus has resulted in some of the greatest ALS research discoveries to date.
We’re presently funding close to 100 active research projects, selected through a peer review process involving top ALS scientists.
So, from the earliest stages, The ALS Association has recognized novel approaches that have led to significant ALS research findings, including:
- The use of induced pluripotent stem cells generated from individuals skin cells for drug development;
- The movement of antisense therapy in genetic forms of ALS into clinical trials; and
- The identification of the C9orf72 gene, the single most important discovery in the field of ALS for two decades.
Worldwide Comprehensive Approach
The ALS Association is at the forefront of the global research effort to find treatments and a cure for ALS. How is our TREAT ALS™ program unique?
- Operates with a global scope
- Funds all phases of ALS research
- Aims to translate research findings into meaningful therapies
- Forges partnerships with government, academia, industry and other nonprofits
- Benefits from having direct access to patients to participate in clinical trials
- Involves a world-renowned panel of scientific advisors
- Employs a robust scientific review process
- Exercises flexibility to ensure rapid funding of novel ideas
- Funds projects with the highest scientific merit
- Encourages young scientists to pursue careers in ALS
- Thrives as part of The ALS Association’s three-pronged approach to find treatments and a cure for the disease through research, care services, and public policy
Changing Landscape of ALS
In the past decade, major changes in the pharmaceutical industry and the drug development landscape have taken place.
The severity of ALS, the lack of effective treatments, the significant progress made in ALS research as well as the identification of targets that make it more tractable to develop therapies for ALS have all resulted in the increased interest in ALS in the industry sector.
ALS is linked to other neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s. Increased understanding of one disease is likely to have major benefits in understanding others.
In other words, implementing a solid strategy
In order to maximize results, The Association channels our funding, made possible through the generous support of donors, into global research projects focused on six tightly-related areas:
- Identifying ALS genes
- Understanding disease mechanisms
- Using stem cells for disease modeling and therapy testing
- Finding disease biomarkers
- Developing therapies
- Improving clinical trials
Supporting Projects and People
The ALS Association offers a variety of grants and awards to individual scientists and private industry to accelerate the development of treatments and a cure for the disease.
The association is also proud to administer the Milton Safenowitz Post-Doctoral Fellowship for ALS Research, which is the only post-doctoral fellowship for ALS research. In addition, The ALS Association’s Sheila Essey Award, the premier ALS award, recognizes achievement in research.
Spirit of Collaboration and Leadership
So, the ALS Association holds workshops each year that bring together scientists researching ALS and other neurodegenerative diseases, the pharmaceutical industry and biotech companies to generate new research suggestions and fresh insight. In addition, The Association staff serve and hold leadership positions on various national and international organizations dedicated to unlocking the mysteries of ALS.
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