Positive Results for Phase 2/3 Masitinib Clinical Trial Announced

Last week, AB Science announced that the Masitinib phase 2/3 clinical trial reached its primary endpoint of ALSFRS-R in people living with ALS. Currently, the company has applied for conditional marketing approval to the European Medicines Agency (EMA) in Europe and is sharing results with officials at the Federal Drug Administration (FDA) to decide next steps in the U.S. The ALS Association is encouraged by the limited results released by AB Science and looks forward to hearing more later this year. Here is a brief overview of the phase 2/3 Masitinib study.

Continue reading Positive Results for Phase 2/3 Masitinib Clinical Trial Announced

Profiles of Milton Safenowitz Postdoctoral Fellows: Dr. Amanda Gleixner

The Association is pleased to continue on the tradition of supporting bright, young scientists in ALS research through the Milton Safenowitz Postdoctoral Fellowship Program. This year, we are supporting six new postdoctoral fellows out of a highly competitive applicant pool. In this series, we highlight the dedication and unique contribution each fellow makes to ALS research. Today, we feature Dr. Amanda Gleixner from the University of Pittsburgh.

The Milton Safenowitz Postdoctoral Research Program, falls under our TREAT ALSTM Global Research Program and was founded by the Safenowitz family through the Greater New York Chapter of The Association. Mr. Safenowitz died of ALS in 1998 and the family and chapter continues its support to this day. Each award is for $100,000 over a two year period.

These awards are designed to encourage and facilitate promising young scientists to enter the ALS field and most importantly, to remain. Lending to the success of our program, over 90 percent of our postdoctoral fellows go on to start their own ALS research laboratories and then mentor their own young scientists.

Here we highlight each of our postdoctoral fellows awarded in 2016 in a series to learn more about their exciting studies and get to know the person behind the bench. Our final featured fellow is Dr. Amanda Gleixner who is exploring how trafficking of molecules between the cell’s nucleus and surrounding cytoplasm contributes to C9orf72-associated ALS.

Amanda Gleixner, Ph.D.

Mentor: Christopher Donnelly, Ph.D., University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, Pa.

Project: Linking impaired nucleocytoplasmic trafficking in C9orf72 ALS to altered nuclear pore complex O-linked N-acetylglucosamine (O-GlcNAc) posttranslational modifications

What is the impact of your research?

Intracellular transport has been shown to be compromised in the most common ALS genetic type. My studies seek to identify what drives the transport deficits in this and perhaps other types of ALS. By further characterizing what is impaired in ALS cells, we hope that new drugs can be designed to halt or reverse disease progression.

Why do you love working in ALS research?

I have found that those impacted by ALS are often highly engaged in the ongoing research efforts. This, in turn, motivates me to better our understanding of the disease so that one day we see ALS as a curable diagnosis.

Tell me something unique about yourself.

While growing up, I enjoyed swimming and dancing competitively.

Who are your heroes?

To me, heroes are people, such as parents, caregivers and police officers, who selflessly put the well-being and safety of others before their own needs.

Amanda’s project was generously supported by the Greater Philadelphia Chapter. Tune in to our blog next month for an in depth interview with Dr. Gleixner.

Read more about her project here.

Read more about this year’s postdoctoral class here in our press release.

Profiles of Milton Safenowitz Postdoctoral Fellows: Dr. Vicente Valenzuela

The Association is pleased to continue on the tradition of supporting bright, young scientists in ALS research through the Milton Safenowitz Postdoctoral Fellowship Program. This year, we are supporting six new postdoctoral fellows out of a highly competitive applicant pool. In this series, we highlight the dedication and unique contribution each fellow makes to ALS research. Today, we feature Dr. Vicente Valenzuela from University of Chile.

Continue reading Profiles of Milton Safenowitz Postdoctoral Fellows: Dr. Vicente Valenzuela

Can Football Cause ALS? A Look at the Research

This week, former San Francisco 49ers receiver Dwight Clark announced he has ALS. He joins other NFL football greats including Steve Gleason, Tim Shaw, Kevin Turner, O.J. Brigance, and others, who have been diagnosed with ALS following their pro football careers. These announcements have brought much attention to the connection between football and traumatic brain injury (TBI) and the question of whether such injuries from football can lead to ALS or chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE). Here, we highlight some research behind the possible connection.

Continue reading Can Football Cause ALS? A Look at the Research

Care Services Educational Offerings Update – March 2017

In late-February 2017, The ALS Association announced the release of 11 new Living with ALS resource guides on our website, www.alsa.org. The guides were designed to inform and educate people about ALS in a comprehensive and easily understood format, addressing many of the common concerns and issues that face people living with ALS. They can be found in electronic format HERE.

We are also pleased to announce that several new educational resources are now available to view and download from our website, including: Families and ALS: A Guide for Talking with and Supporting Children and Youths and the Medical Information Packet and Key Medical Information Card.

Continue reading Care Services Educational Offerings Update – March 2017

San Francisco 49ers Legend Dwight Clark Announces He Has ALS

Former San Francisco 49ers receiver Dwight Clark, best known for his leaping catch in the end zone to help the 49ers win the 1982 NFC Championship game, announced on Sunday that he has ALS. Clark wrote a letter explaining his story, which you can read here. And here is a video of “The Catch.”

Continue reading San Francisco 49ers Legend Dwight Clark Announces He Has ALS

Profiles of Milton Safenowitz Postdoctoral Fellows: Dr. Jeanne McKeon

The Association is pleased to continue on the tradition of supporting bright, young scientists in ALS research through the Milton Safenowitz Postdoctoral Fellowship Program. This year, we are supporting six new postdoctoral fellows out of a highly competitive applicant pool. In this series, we highlight the dedication and unique contribution each fellow makes to ALS research. Today, we feature Dr. Jeanne McKeon from University of Massachusetts Medical School.

The Milton Safenowitz Postdoctoral Research Program, falls under our TREAT ALSTM Global Research Program and was founded by the Safenowitz family through the Greater New York Chapter of The Association. Mr. Safenowitz died of ALS in 1998 and the family and chapter continues its support to this day. Each award is for $100,000 over a two year period.

These awards are designed to encourage and facilitate promising young scientists to enter the ALS field and most importantly, to remain. Lending to the success of our program, over 90 percent of our postdoctoral fellows go on to start their own ALS research laboratories and then mentor their own young scientists.

Here we highlight each of our postdoctoral fellows awarded in 2016 in a series to learn more about their exciting studies and get to know the person behind the bench. Our fourth featured fellow is Dr. Jeanne McKeon who is exploring how inherited ALS mutations in the profilin-1 (PFN1) gene impacts the structural integrity of cells.

Jeanne McKeon, Ph.D.

Mentor: Daryl Bosco, Ph.D., University of Massachusetts Medical School, Worcester, Mass.

Jeanne McKeon_ALSA

Project: Disruption of actin dynamics as a pathogenic mechanism in ALS

What is the impact of your research?

My research seeks to understand how mutations in a familial ALS-linked protein involved in the actin cytoskeleton cause disease. These studies will yield critical insight into pathogenic mechanisms that may also be at play in sporadic ALS.

Why do you love working in ALS research?

I believe that in order to develop much needed therapeutics we must first understand the basics mechanisms underlying the disease.

Tell me something unique about yourself.

I became fascinated in neurodegenerative disease research as an undergrad and have been working in this field ever since.

Who are your heroes?

I would consider heroes all the people working tirelessly toward cures for ALS and other diseases.

Read more about her project here.

Read more about this year’s postdoctoral class here  in our press release.