ALS Association Funded Research Attracts $42 Million in Private Funding

QurAlis, a biotech company focused on developing targeted therapeutics for ALS and a recipient of a  $250,000 funding grant from The ALS Association in 2019, recently announced that it had raised $42 million in a Series A venture capital financing round to advance its research into ALS treatments. The private investment round brings the total amount raised by QurAlis to $50.5 million. 

“The great support of our existing and new investors from the US, Europe and Japan underscores the international nature of our mission,” said Kasper Roet, Ph.D., Chief Executive Officer of QurAlis. “We plan to use this funding to continue advancing ALS and FTD therapies for patients around the world who are in critical need of effective treatments.”

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The ALS Association Continues to Push Development of Novel Treatments

The ALS Association is excited to announce $2.5 million in grants to help develop promising new treatments for people living with ALS. 

The grants are supported by the Association’s Lawrence and Isabel Barnett Drug Development Program, which supports drug discovery research in both academia and industry to develop new drug therapies and test them in a preclinical setting while moving those therapies closer to clinical use.

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The ALS Association Furthers Commitment to Develop Technologies to Help People with ALS Live Better

The ALS Association is excited to announce $1.4 million in grants to help develop technology that will enhance the quality of life for people living with ALS. The funding supports research in fields ranging from assistive communications and noninvasive ventilation to wearable sensors and a brain-computer interface. 

The grants are part of the Association’s Managing ALS Research Program, which funds research for improving clinical, psychological, and social management of ALS, focusing on both people living with ALS and their caregivers. This includes research in developing assistive technology, measuring patient/caretaker burden, and improving quality of life.

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A Deeper Look into ALS Association Efforts to Speed Approval of Gene Therapies

By Neil Thakur, Ph.D.
Executive Vice President, Mission Strategy, The ALS Association

We are getting enthusiastic feedback and questions about our partnership with Project ALS to fund a clinical research project for jacifusen, an experimental therapy being developed at Columbia University’s Eleanor and Lou Gehrig ALS Center for FUS-associated ALS. We thought it would be helpful to describe the strategy underlying the project. 

Jacifusen is an experimental treatment based on antisense technology, a way to silence genes. Jacifusen has not received FDA approval, and we do not know if it works. It is a variation of the same gene silencing approach being tested in more common ALS genes, specifically SOD1 and C9orf72. 

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The ALS Association and Project ALS to Fund Columbia University Drug Trial for Patients with Rare Genetic Forms of ALS

The ALS Association and Project ALS announced a joint two-year, $900,000 commitment to pilot a clinical research program for an investigational gene therapy for mutant FUS-associated ALS, at Columbia University’s Eleanor and Lou Gehrig ALS Center. This is the first step in developing a comprehensive strategy to treat multiple rare ALS genes. 

“We want to develop simple pathways to treatments for all forms of genetic ALS including rare types,” said Neil Thakur, PhD, executive vice president, mission strategy at The ALS Association. 

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ALS Focus Launches and Seeks Participants for Important Ongoing Survey Program

Today, The ALS Association launched the ALS Focus survey program. The goal is to recruit people living with ALS and their caregivers to capture their experiences and preferences. Data will be collected in a scientifically rigorous way through quarterly surveys. ALS Focus will provide a deep and evolving understanding of disease burden and experiences of people with ALS and their caregivers. 

The program is a stakeholder driven and collaborative program run by people with ALS, caregivers, academics, industry, government, and ALS Association leadership. Together, they  will ensure a unified and truly representative “voice” for the ALS community. This information is critical to ensure that the voice of people living with the disease directly informs research, clinical, regulatory, and drug company decisions.

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In the Past Year, The ALS Association Has Committed $21.5 million to 70 Promising Research Initiatives

The tallies are in for The ALS Association’s research program for the 2020 fiscal year, showing a total commitment of $21.5 million dollars in 70 promising research initiatives around the world. 

“We hope that these strategic commitments in funding for research projects and infrastructure development will speed breakthroughs and accelerate drug development for ALS,” said Dr. Kuldip Dave, vice president of research at The ALS Association.  

Continue reading In the Past Year, The ALS Association Has Committed $21.5 million to 70 Promising Research Initiatives