Project A.L.S. Announces Research Effort With Lilly
Non-Profit Leader Joins with Industry Innovator to Study Cancer Therapies for
Devastating Brain Disease
NEW YORK, Nov. 19, 2013
NEW YORK, Nov. 19, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Project A.L.S. today announced an
agreement with Eli Lilly and Company aimed at helping to accelerate the
development of potential therapies for the neurodegenerative disease
amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), also known as Lou Gehrig's disease. As
part of the agreement, Project A.L.S. will study molecules developed and
studied pre-clinically by Lilly scientists for the treatment of cancer to
assess their potential in the treatment of ALS.
Research by Project A.L.S., a non-profit aligned with leading academic medical
institutes and key opinion leaders across the globe, Tom Maniatis, Ph.D., and
Thomas Jessell Ph.D., both professors at Columbia University, uncovered novel
data that identified a critical role in ALS disease progression for several
inflammatory signaling pathways that are also known to be associated with
"Chronic inflammation has long been implicated in ALS disease progression, but
recent advances in areas like genomics have now made it possible to identify
specific inflammatory targets for ALS drug development," said Dr. Maniatis.
Lilly has a robust oncology pipeline, including several preclinical molecules
targeting the signaling pathways proposed to be involved in cancer and
inflammation. Project A.L.S. will study select Lilly molecules in preclinical
ALS models, pioneered by Project A.L.S. during the last 15 years, to determine
if these molecules show any activity between ALS and inflammation.
"The evidence demonstrating a potential role for these cancer signaling
pathways in the progression of ALS is compelling," said Greg Plowman, M.D.,
Ph.D., vice president of oncology research at Lilly. "Lilly will provide
well-characterized and selective molecules that we hope will help accelerate
the development of medicines for ALS."
"Project A.L.S. is honored and excited to work with Lilly on these early stage
research studies," said ValerieEstess, director of research for Project
A.L.S. "The hope is that this collaboration will eventually provide meaningful
new treatment options for ALS patients," added Estess.
Project A.L.S.™ is a non-profit 501©3 devoted to understanding, treating, and
ultimately curing ALS, also known as Lou Gehrig's disease. Founded in 1998 by
Jenifer Estess, her family and friends, Project A.L.S. requires competing
scientists to work together and openly share data and has become the new
paradigm for brain disease research. Additional information about Project
A.L.S. is available at www.projectals.org.
ALS is a fatal neurodegenerative disease that affects adults of all ages. ALS
targets brain cells called motor neurons; as they die, people with ALS
progressively lose the ability to walk, speak, swallow, and breathe. ALS is
usually fatal within 2-5 years of diagnosis. Experts say that ALS and the
related neurodegenerative diseases, including Parkinson's and Alzheimer's, are
a 21st century epidemic. In ten years 1 in 25 Americans will be affected with
a neurodegenerative disease.
SOURCE Project A.L.S.
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