The ALS Association recently invested approximately $2.5 million in the Translational Research Advancing Therapy for ALS (TREAT ALS) Drug Development Contract grant program, designed to develop new ALS treatments.
ALS, a progressive neurodegenerative illness, damages the nerve cells in the spinal cord and brain. ALS patients lose control of their muscle movements, causing complete paralysis and eventual death in two to five years after diagnosis. Scientists have not yet discovered why veterans are two times more likely to have ALS than the rest of the population.
The program intends to support the program in early pilot clinical trials and preclinical research. These research funds will be used to create a plan for a $500,000 investment for a maximum of two years.
The goal of the program is to finance the preclinical assessments for ALS therapies, not the clinical trials. The studies will be used to develop products and concentrate on therapies. Eventually, the information will be used to create a framework for agents and drugs within preclinical trials, which can then be accelerated to marketable therapies.
As of today, there is no cure for the disease. Just one drug is known to slightly lengthen patients’ survival rates.