The ALS Association Announces $4.3 Million in Research Grants for Global Fight Against ALS

The ALS Association Announces $4.3 Million in Research Grants for Global Fight Against ALS
August 13, 2013

The ALS Association announced today that it has awarded $4.3 million in new research grants. These awards are part of its Translational Research Advancing Therapy (TREAT ALS ™) program, through which The Association funds a diverse portfolio of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) research to find treatments and a cure for the disease.

“These awards will drive research on several emerging fronts in the quest to understand and find treatments for ALS,” said Lucie Bruijn, Ph.D., Chief Scientist for The ALS Association. “The generosity of our donors and supporters makes these grants possible. We are very grateful for that generosity and the opportunity it provides to make these awards for this important research.”

The awards will go to scientists in laboratories in 14 states in the United States as well as in the United Kingdom, Ireland, Belgium, Canada, Argentina, France and Italy. These awards will support 35 new research projects.

Financial support from the following organizations and individuals enabled The ALS Association to fund these new research grants: Greater Philadelphia Chapter; Greater New York Chapter; The Jeff Kaufman Fund of the Wisconsin Chapter; Greater Chicago Chapter; Texas Chapter; Golden West Chapter; Greater Sacramento Chapter; Orange County Chapter; Greater San Diego Chapter; The Motor Neuron Disease Association of the United Kingdom; and Jay and Toshiko Tompkins.

The ALS Association funds both Investigator-Initiated Awards, for research proposed by investigators and Association-Initiated Awards, for research proposals in areas identified by The Association and its scientific advisors as key targets for new research.

The Association also offers The Milton Safenowitz Postdoctoral Fellowship for ALS Research Award. Founded by the Safenowitz family through the Greater New York Chapter of The ALS Association and in memory of Mr. Safenowitz, who died of ALS in 1998, these awards are to encourage and facilitate promising young scientists to enter the ALS field.

The Association is also continuing major support for the Northeast ALS Consortium (NEALS), to support the TREAT ALS NEALS Clinical Trials Network.

All of these new grants will support research to understand the causes of ALS, to develop new treatments, and to create tools that will help improve clinical trials of new therapies. More specifically, the research will include animal model systems, genetics, stem cells, and work directly with people with ALS.

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Thank you for your support at the Don’s Steffen Charity ALS Golf Tournament

Hi Everyone,

I wanted to take a moment to thank all of you that attended or showed your support in one way or the other in memory or as I like to say in “HONOR” of my dad Don Steffen. This tournament is important to my family and has been promised by us, to my father, to continue his legacy to help asssist in finding a cure for ALS through awareness and raising funds. If we can help one person, we have done our job, if we can help assist in putting ALS out of business, we have won the battle by helping to find a cure!

The tournament allows all of us to celebrate my dad and help those in need that are going through any stage of ALS for the patient, the caregivers, and the family and friends of those affected in any way shape or form by ALS.

We are in the process of tallying the funds raised at the Don Steffen Charity ALS Tournamanet and will have news to share soon!

Love, light, and blessings to you all!

Angela and the Steffen family!

National ALS Advocacy Days in Washington DC

National ALS Advocacy Days in Washington DC

If you have a few minutes today, call or email your Senators and Congressmen and let them know you support continued funding of the National ALS Registry at $10 million, and the Department of Defense’s ALS Research Program at $10 million. These are important programs that will help us understand and find better treatments for this dreaded disease and they are constantly in jeopardy of being cut in these difficult financial times.

ALS Untangled No. 20: The Deanna Protocol

Don Steffen Charity ALS Golf Tournament! May 18, 2013

We take great pleasure in inviting you and your colleagues to join 4th Annual
Don Steffen Charity Golf Classic scheduled for Saturday, May 18, 2013 at the
prestigious Avalon Golf & Country Club in Lenior City, TN. The purpose of this event
is to raise funds to help the ALS Association Tennessee Chapter find a cure for ALS
(better known as Lou Gehrig’s Disease). Until they do, funds from the tournament also help provide vital services for patients in East Tennessee battling this devastating neuromuscular disease and help raise awarenes about ALS.

This tournament is in memory of Don Steffen, beloved friend and member of the
Avalon Golf community, who fought a courageous battle with ALS. Every 90 minutes, one American dies of ALS, while another is stricken. ALS can strike anyone at anytime and robs the body of its ability to walk, speak, swallow and breathe, while the mind remains unaffected. Help us find a cure!

“Life is a blessing –
Enjoy your journey!”
Don Steffen

You may also view the Sponsorship Opportunities and Player Packages that are available for purchase.

For more information please contact:
Cheri Sanders at (615) 331-5556 or by email at cheri.sanders@alstn.org
Steve Ressler at (865) 394-4141 or by email at muddressler@comcast.net

We look forward to seeing you at Avalon Golf & Country Club.

Tournament Date – May 18, 2013

Its that time again to start planning to attend the 4th Annual Don Steffen Charity ALS Golf Tournament

Hello to all of our ALS crusaders!

We are excited to announce that the 4th Don Steffen Annual Charity ALS Golf Tournament will be held on May 18th at Avolon Golf Course in Knoxville, TN. As you are aware all proceeds will go to finding a cure to ALS.

Please check back in with us this month as we put more information up on the site regarding the tournmanet.

We look forward to seeing all of you there!

Angela

Latest Research in ALS Push towards finding a cure!

Published on Jul 5, 2012 by Brainstorminvestors

July 3, 2012
Israeli Channel 2 reports: Dramatic Change in Patient with ALS and MG following Compassionate Use of BrainStorm’s Nurown™ Cell Therapy
‫NY, Petach Tikva, July 2, 2012. — BrainStorm Cell Therapeutics Inc. (OTC BB: BCLI), Israeli Channel 2 TV interviewed today a patient suffering from Myasthenia Gravis (MG) and recently diagnosed with ALS. The patient reported that he has experienced visible improvement in his speech, walking, balance, posture, muscle strength, appetite, digestion, and weight gain following compassionate treatment with BrainStorm’s NurOwn cell therapy.
“Due to the rare disease combination of MG and ALS, this patient was approved for compassionate treatment with BrainStorm’s NurOwn cell therapy” says Professor Dimitrios Karussis of the Neurology Department at The Hadassah Medical Center in Jerusalem, and Principal Investigator of BrainStorm’s current Phase I/II clinical trial. “Within a few weeks following injection with NurOwn cells, the patient showed dramatic improvement in a variety of functions including breathing, speech, walking, muscular strength, and overall well-being. While we cannot draw scientific conclusions based on the outcome of an individual patient, these results are extremely encouraging.”
“We are moved by the remarkable results observed following treatment with NurOwn,” said Professor Avi Israeli, BrainStorm’s Chairman of the Board. “We are hopeful that we will continue to see this kind of improvement in all the patients participating in our current and future clinical trials.”
In January 2012 the Company reported initial safety data from the first four patients in BrainStorm’s ALS Phase I/II human clinical trial, indicating that treatment with NurOwn did not present any significant side effects and demonstrated some beneficial clinical effects. After reviewing this safety data, the Hadassah Medical Center ethical committee granted approval for the trial to continue. Interim results for the first 12 patients are expected in July 2012.
BrainStorm expects to expand its ALS clinical development into the United States. Orphan-drug designation for NurOwn has been granted by the US Food and Drug Administration. In addition, the Company has entered into a Memorandum of Understanding with the University of Massachusetts Medical School and Massachusetts General Hospital to begin ALS human clinical trials at these institutions.

About BrainStorm Cell Therapeutics, Inc.
BrainStorm Cell Therapeutics Inc. Is a biotechnology company engaged in the development of adult stem cell therapeutic products derived from autologous bone marrow cells and intended for the treatment of neurodegenerative diseases. The Company holds the rights to develop and commercialize its NurOwn™ technology through an exclusive, worldwide licensing agreement with Ramot at Tel Aviv University Ltd., the technology transfer company of Tel-Aviv University. For more information, visit the company’s new website at www.brainstorm-cell.com.
Safe Harbor Statement
Statements in this announcement other than historical data and information constitute “forward-looking statements” and involve risks and uncertainties that could cause BrainStorm Cell Therapeutics Inc.’s actual results to differ materially from those stated or implied by such forward-looking statements. Terms and phrases such as “may”, “should”, “would”, “could”, “will”, “expect”, “likely”, “believe”, “plan”, “estimate”, “predict”, “potential”, and similar terms and phrases are intended to identify these forward-looking statements. The potential risks and uncertainties include, without limitation, risks associated with BrainStorm’s limited operating history, history of losses; minimal working capital, dependence on its license to Ramot’s technology; ability to adequately protect the technology; dependence on key executives and on its scientific consultants; ability to obtain required regulatory approvals; and other factors detailed in BrainStorm’s annual report on Form 10-K and quarterly reports on Form 10-Q available at http://www.sec.gov. These factors should be considered carefully, and readers should not place undue reliance on BrainStorm’s forward-looking statements. The forward-looking statements contained in this press release are based on the beliefs, expectations and opinions of management as of the date of this press release. We do not assume any obligation to update forward-looking statements to reflect actual results or assumptions if circumstances or management’s beliefs, expectations or opinions should change, unless otherwise required by law. Although we believe that the expectations reflected in the forward-looking statements are reasonable, we cannot guarantee future results, levels of activity, performance or achievements.

 

#2

 

FOX Medical Team

Henry County man undergoes experimental ALS stem cell surgery

Posted: Aug 27, 2012 4:20 PM EDT

Updated: Aug 27, 2012 6:07 PM EDT

By Beth Galvin, FOX Medical Team reporter –

 

ATLANTA –

A Henry County father of three has gambled on a risky, cutting-edge spinal surgery not once, but twice.

Ted Harada is the 15th and final patient to undergo a human stem cell transplant for amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) patients. He’s part of an Emory study being watched all over the world.

The surgeons aren’t just injecting cells into the spinal cord — they’re exposing the spinal cord,  It controls every breath, every movement, every muscle.

Ted and Michelle Harada have been down this road before. The two have been married 18 years. Ted, 40, was diagnosed with ALS two years ago.

“I know it’s the right thing.  And I know it’s the right thing not just because it will help me, but because there’s a lot of people out there that need help,” said Harada.
    
Ted knows ALS, also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease, will progressively shut down his muscles, until he can’t breathe on his own.

Ted volunteered for the first-ever human stem cell trial for ALS at Emory. He said that he’s taking the risks for his three children – a 14-year-old son, 12-year-old daughter and 8-year-old daughter.

“But that fact that it was so cutting edge of science and medicine is what appealed to me,” said Harada.

Doctors are using stem cells taken from a fetus aborted 12 years ago. They’ve been cultured and multiplied in a lab by a company called Neuralstem. They’re injecting them directly into the spinal cords of people with ALS.

Seventeen months ago, the cells transplanted into Ted’s lower spine, which controls his legs.

“Now this is a disease that doesn’t get better.  So we don’t see patients who spontaneously get better. It just doesn’t happen,” said Emory neurologist  Dr. Jonathan Glass.

But Ted did get better. Soon he could walk through his McDonough neighborhood without a cane — the one patient of 15 study volunteers to measurably get stronger.

“How could I not believe in it, when I’ve seen what it’s done, for whatever reason?  I mean, I understand it’s a safety trial, but you still can’t deny or ignore the results I’ve seen,” said Herada.
 
“I have difficulty explaining it —  it was unexpected,” said Glass. “It was nice to see.”

But recently the weakness has come back, So, Ted returned for one more surgery.

“I told him the risks, he knows the risks, and the risks are large,” said Glass.

“But there’s part of me that has to say, ‘Hey, it worked once, why can’t it help again,'” said Ted.

Before Ted’s second surgery began, Glass had to make sure the stem cells were still viable. To go forward, at least 70 percent have to be alive. In Ted’s case, 86.3 percent were alive.

It was neurosurgeon Nick Boulis’ 18th stem cell transplant at Emory.
    
“We’re going to do five injections of the cervical spinal cord,” said Boulis.

The Emory/University of Michigan team focused on the neck because the nerves there control breathing.
       
“Because that’s why people die.  People die of ALS because they can’t breathe,” said Glass.

Dr. Boulis and the team carefully teased open the most delicate, dangerous, real estate in the body: the cervical spinal cord. A few feet away, Dr. Glass drew the stem cells into a hair-thin tube, about 100,000 at a time.
 
“And then we’ll do that five times, so it will be 500,000 cells he’ll get,” said Glass.

The cells were injected into a two centimeter section of Ted’s spinal cord. The only goal of this trial  is to prove this surgery, and these cells are safe, not whether they work. But lab studies show the stem cells may help damaged or dying spinal nerve cells repair themselves.
       
After almost six hours in the operating room, the surgery was complete.

Nothing is promised, nothing guaranteed. But there’s hope. And for the Haradas that’s enough.

Five days out, Ted says he’s doing OK.

Now, the Emory-Michigan team will take all of its safety data to the Food and Drug Administration to ask permission to move on to the next phase of the trial. That could take about a year.