ALS ONE Receives $4 Million Grant For ALS Treatment Research

By Reina Ilagan

Nov 30, 2016 05:32 AM EST

Various associations have been conducting research for the treatment of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis or ALS, a neurological and rapidly progressive fatal disease. On Monday, ALS ONE received $4 million grant from two national ALS organizations, The ALS Association and ALS Finding a Cure.

"We are beyond thrilled and honored to receive this grant," said Jennifer DiMartino, Executive Director of ALS ONE.

"There's no doubt that the researchers within the ALS ONE partnership are known separately around the world as leaders in ALS research. For me, to see them come together and collaborate on a shared plan is one of the most inspiring things I've ever been a part of," she added.

The grant given to ALS ONE gathered four institutional leaders in ALS treatment to collaborate on research for both kinds of ALS, sporadic and familial.

Massachusetts General Hospital, ALS Therapy Development Institute, University of Massachusetts Medical School and Compassionate Care ALS joined in partnership to develop new approaches to treatment.

"We are gratified to be able to help these partnerships bring their expertise to bear on this important goal, and are excited by the potential they represent," said Lucie Bruijin, Ph.D., MBA. and Chief scientist for the ALS Association.

The funding will, in part, support gene therapy research at University of Massachusetts Medical School which is run by recognized ALS researcher Robert H. Brown Jr., DPhil, MD. The ALS ONE-Massachusetts Partnership will focus on the development of two gene therapy strategies to silence the production of toxic RNA and proteins.

The Hanover-based ALS ONE was founded in January 2016 by Kevin Gosnell, who died from ALS complications last August. The organization aims to accelerate progress in the development of ALS treatment by 2020.

There is still no cure for ALS. And so far, there is only one FDA-approved drug for ALS treatment.

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