New Genes, Potential Treatments and Models for ALS Drug Development to Be Discussed this November 1 in Boston
Academic, Biotech and Philanthropic Innovators Meet for 8(th) Annual Summit
CAMBRIDGE, Mass., Sept. 5, 2012 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — The ALS Therapy Development Institute (ALS TDI) is holding its 8(th) annual Leadership Summit on Thursday, November 1, 2012 at the Sheraton Hotel in Boston. The free event aims to illuminate the latest trends in preclinical and clinical research for neurodegeneration and the converging roles of the patient, foundation and pharmaceutical company.
The Leadership Summit will begin with a rapid-paced series of presentations from renowned researchers and neurologists, including: Robert Brown, M.D., Ph.D., chair and professor, department of neurology at the University of Massachusetts Medical School; Neil Cashman, M.D., chief scientific officer and co-founder of Amorfix Life Sciences and professor of neurology at the University of British Columbia; Steve Perrin, Ph.D., CEO & chief scientific officer of ALS TDI; and Jan Willem Vrijbloed, Ph.D., chief scientific officer at Swiss biotech Neurotune.
Additionally, the event will include a panel of industry and thought leaders involved in improving the pace at which new discoveries made in the lab are translated into health-improving treatments for patients today, including: Iris Low-Friedrich, M.D., Ph.D., executive vice president of global projects and development and chief medical officer at UCB SA; Mark Namchuk, Ph.D., senior vice president of research, North America at Vertex Pharmaceuticals; and Lesa Mitchell, vice president of innovation and networks at the Kauffman Foundation. The panel will be moderated by Amy Dockser Marcus, reporter for The Wall Street Journal.
“Advancements in medical research happen every day. In today’s rapid-fire information environment it becomes crucial that we do everything we can to help patients, caregivers, research and funders alike to understand what those new ‘ah-ha!’ moments mean to patients today. We need to both bridge the so-called ‘valley of death’ for diseases such as ALS, but at the same time we need to bridge the understanding gap and make science approachable,” said Steve Perrin of ALS TDI.
The Institute will also announce this year’s Leadership Award recipients during the Summit. Each year, ALS TDI recognizes four individuals nominated by their peers for their efforts in raising awareness of and funding for research into an effective treatment for ALS. Nomination information is available online at http://als.net/summit/Awards.aspx.
The Leadership Summit begins at 9:00 a.m. and is free and open to the public. Lunch is provided, and there will be a cocktail and networking reception at the close. To register or learn more, visit www.als.net/summit.
Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS, Lou Gehrig’s disease) is a progressive neurodegenerative disease that leads to paralysis, due to the death of motor neurons in the spinal cord and brain. There is no known cause, cure or effective treatment for the disease. About 5,000 people in the US are diagnosed with ALS each year; the incidence is similar to multiple sclerosis. However, with no effective treatment and an aggressive and rapid disease progression, the average patient survives only 2-5 years following their diagnosis. There are about 30,000 US citizens diagnosed with the disease at any given time. The worldwide population of ALS patients is estimated at 400,000.
About the ALS Therapy Development Institute (ALS TDI)
The mission of the ALS Therapy Development Institute (ALS TDI) is to develop effective therapeutics that slow or stop amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS, Lou Gehrig’s disease) as soon as possible for patients today. Focused on meeting this urgent unmet medical need, ALS TDI executes a robust target discovery program, while simultaneously operating the world’s largest efforts to preclinically validate potential therapeutics; including a pipeline of dozens of small molecules, protein biologics, gene therapies and cell-based constructs. The world’s first nonprofit biotech institute, ALS TDI has developed an industrial-scale platform, employs 30 professional scientists and evaluates dozens of potential therapeutics each year. ALS TDI collaborates with leaders in both academia and industry to accelerate ALS therapeutic development, including Biogen Idec, UCB, Aestus Therapeutics, MDA and RGK Foundation. ALS TDI is a 501(c)3 registered charitable nonprofit organization. For more information, please visit us online at www.als.net.
Media Contact: Mari Sullivan, ALS TDI, firstname.lastname@example.org, 617-441-7220
SOURCE ALS Therapy Development Institute