The ALS Association
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Washington, D.C. (February 8, 2017)— Last week, The ALS Association announced that its TREAT ALS™ drug development program has been renamed in honor of Lawrence and Isabel Barnett. The Barnett family is a longtime supporter of The Association and is committed to expediting ALS research towards treatments and cures. In total, the Barnett family has contributed over $11 million to The ALS Association. Moving forward, the program will now be called “The Lawrence and Isabel Barnett Drug Development Program.”
ALS is a progressive neurodegenerative disease that affects nerve cells in the brain and the spinal cord. Eventually, people with ALS lose the ability to initiate and control muscle movement, which often leads to total paralysis and death within two to five years of diagnosis. For unknown reasons, veterans are twice as likely to develop ALS as the general population. There is no cure, and only one drug modestly extends survival by only a few months.
Lawrence and Isabel Barnett are both widely respected for their roles as a prominent entertainment executive and as an actress in television and theater, respectively. For many years they contributed their time, talent and treasure to The ALS Association after a family friend was diagnosed with ALS. Larry was a guiding force behind founding the ALS Association, serving as the first chairman in 1985 and playing an active role in the organization’s funding and development. Over the years, their contributions to the fight against ALS have advanced understanding of the disease through groundbreaking research. Lawrence Barnett, Jr. has served on The Association’s Board of Trustees since 2009 and continues the family tradition.
The ALS Association’s TREAT ALS™ (Translational Research Advancing Therapy for ALS) portfolio funds research from early target identification to preclinical research and early pilot clinical trials. Within this portfolio, The Lawrence and Isabel Barnett Drug Development Program has enabled the development of novel therapeutics that are currently in clinical trials for ALS and related neurological disorders. The program has been instrumental in building and fostering academic-industry partnerships, and has contributed to the explosion in the number of companies, small and large, entering the ALS field. Among other accomplishments, this milestone-based program made possible the development and clinical testing of antisense therapy against a common gene mutation in ALS, the first application of antisense therapy to any neurologic disease.
About The ALS Association
The ALS Association is the only national non-profit organization fighting Lou Gehrig’s Disease on every front. By leading the way in global research, providing assistance for people with ALS through a nationwide network of chapters, coordinating multidisciplinary care through certified clinical care centers, and fostering government partnerships, The Association builds hope and enhances quality of life while aggressively searching for new treatments and a cure. For more information about The ALS Association, visit our website at www.alsa.org.