The ALS Association
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Washington, D.C. (February 13, 2015) — In the six months since the Ice Bucket Challenge soaked the nation, The ALS Association has made considerable progress in developing and executing strategies to put the incredible financial support to immediate use in the fight against amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS).
Last summer, 15 million people in the U.S. participated in the Ice Bucket Challenge—or roughly five percent of the population—and donated $115 million to The ALS Association. Since that time, The Association has laid out a strategy to triple the amount it spends on research every year.
“Ice Bucket Challenge donations have enabled us to reinforce and reenergize our efforts to find treatments for this disease,” said Barbara J. Newhouse, President and CEO of The ALS Association. “We are so profoundly grateful and are committed to making the biggest impact in the fight against ALS.”
Last fall, The Association announced $21.7 million in initial commitments to ignite six projects, including four collaborative research initiatives to build understanding of the disease, target new therapies, expedite clinical trials, and make DNA and RNA sequencing data available to the entire ALS research community.
This spring, The Association will be announcing additional research awards made possible by Ice Bucket Challenge donations:
Currently, The Association is funding approximately 140 active projects globally. Projects are milestone driven, which enables The Association to redirect dollars when the science demonstrates that one approach is not feasible, and another is more promising.
“We’ve received triple the amount of applications for research funding than we did last year,” said Newhouse, “a positive sign that the Ice Bucket Challenge has energized the research community.”
At the end of January 2015, The Association launched a Drug Discovery call to support academic and industry partners to develop novel treatment approaches. Funding will support all aspects of drug discovery up until the clinical trials stage.
“It can take upwards of $1-2 billion to develop one effective treatment, so it’s critical that we continue the momentum around ALS that started with last summer’s Ice Bucket Challenge,” said Newhouse.
Participation from people living with the disease in clinical trials is critical to the discovery of effective treatments. For this and other reasons, it is crucial that The Association invest Ice Bucket Challenge dollars in additional initiatives that support the broader research enterprise, including the following:
Some specific examples of how Ice Bucket Challenge donations have made a difference include the following:
For more information, please contact Carrie Munk at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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.