The ALS (amyotrophic lateral sclerosis) Association Board of Trustees has developed a long-term strategy for leveraging the Ice Bucket Challenge donations it has received to advance its integrated mission of leading the fight to treat and cure ALS through global research, care services and public policy. This will result in the Association tripling the amount of money it spends on ALS research to ensure the most promising research continues to be funded. It will also result in greater support to the Association’s Certified Treatment Centers of Excellence, which provide evidence-based, multi-disciplinary ALS care and services in a supportive atmosphere with an emphasis on hope and quality of life.
“We are thrilled with the additional funding for research and care services that the Ice Bucket Challenge has provided, even more important is the chance the entire ALS community now has to leverage our good fortune to work together toward our common goal of defeating this horrific disease,” says Bill Thoet, chairman of the Board of Trustees of the ALS Association. “Together, we now have the unique opportunity to fundamentally change the nature of this fight.”
“We now have tremendous momentum in the search for a cure. Our integrated mission, combined with increased collaboration, is accelerating our ability to move potential treatments through the drug development process and improve the support for people living with ALS at our care centres,” says Barbara Newhouse, president and chief executive officer of the ALS Association. The Certified Treatment Centers of Excellence both extend and improve the quality of life for those living with ALS, and actively participate in ALS-related research.
Earlier this month, the ALS Association announced it was supporting six different programmes and initiatives designed to expedite the search for treatments and a cure for ALS. Four of these projects involve global research cooperative alliances that would not have moved forward without the funding from the ALS Association and the matching donations it received.
In addition, the Association launched a new collaborative initiative that will bring the ALS community together to establish an ALS drug development guidance document. No such document currently exists, which creates uncertainty and risk for what already is a difficult, lengthy and costly process. The Association hopes that this initiative will incentivise ALS drug development, reduce obstacles and provide new opportunities to accelerate research and bring new treatments forward.