The ALS Association

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Carrie Munk
The ALS Association
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Department of Defense Announces New Award Applications Recommended for Funding for Potential ALS Therapies

Washington, D.C. (April 15, 2014) —Through its Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis Research Program (ALSRP), which supports innovative, high-impact ALS research, the US Army Medical Research and the Office of Congressionally Directed Medical Research Programs (CDMRP) has announced its fiscal year 2013 Award Applications Recommended for Funding, including the therapeutic development award and therapeutic idea award.
ALS (amyotrophic lateral sclerosis), otherwise known as Lou Gehrig’s Disease, is a progressive neurodegenerative disease that affects neurons (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. There is no cure and no life-prolonging treatments for the disease. 

Recipients of the therapeutic development award are Clive Svendsen, Ph.D., Director, Regenerative Medicine Institute at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, Los Angeles, Calif., and Leonard Petrucelli, Ph.D.,  Professor of Neuroscience, Mayo Clinic, Jacksonville, Fla. Dr. Svendsen is a recipient of the 2010 Sheila Essey Award for ALS Research and has played an instrumental role in bringing stem cell approaches for the treatment of ALS to the clinic. Dr. Petrucelli is recipient of a 2013 ALS Association investigator-initiated award, which focuses on the discovery and validation of ALS biomarkers.

"This program is extremely important to support treatment development for ALS, and I am delighted outstanding recipients have been provided the necessary funds to help further their efforts to develop much needed treatment approaches for ALS", commented Lucie Bruijn, Ph.D. MBA, Chief Scientist, The ALS Association and Chair of the ALSRP integration panel. "It is thanks to the efforts of The ALS Association, its chapters and most importantly, people living with the disease at the local level that funding for this program has been made possible.”

Military veterans are diagnosed at approximately twice the rate of the general public. Because of this, The ALS Association worked with Congress and the Department of Defense (DOD) to create the ALSRP in 2007. ALSRP is the only ALS-specific program at DOD and is specifically focused on finding new treatments for the disease. The Association has helped to secure more than $40 million in Congressional funding for the program.

The CDMRP first offered the therapeutic development award in fiscal year 2007 and designed the award to support preclinical testing and development of therapeutics for ALS. Since then, the agency has received 153 therapeutic development award applications and has recommended 14 for funding.

In addition to the therapeutic development award, the CDMRP announced multiple recipients for the therapeutic idea award, first offered in fiscal year 2010. This award is designed to promote new ideas in the early stages of development with the potential to yield highly impactful data and new avenues of investigation for novel therapeutics to treat ALS. Since that time, the CDMRP has received 149 therapeutic idea award applications and has recommended 16 for funding.

The CDMRP has issued a call for proposals for FY 2014 for both awards. Program announcement information and application instructions are available at

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

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