Lou Gehrig's Disease - Motor Neuron Disease - Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis
Thought it had been cured by now? Still no known cause. Still no cure. Still quickly fatal. Still outrageous.

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Dear Smart ALS Scientists Who Are Meeting In New Orleans This Week

We need a shared, searchable, online source of ALS-related grant information that includes grantors, $, start dates, end dates, receiving institutions, investigators, topics, and outcomes.

Something like this but with more of the pertinent details like amounts and outcomes.  

That would really jazz your donor base.  It would help people searching for hope to have a real place to search.

It's our portfolio, yet nobody tells us exactly what's in it and how it's doing.

p.s. The search tool needs to be shared because we're tired of funding expensive, redundant, incomplete  silos of data like we have bought for clinical trial information.


  1. Remote access info is at

  2. Part 1

    Round Table 1
    Disease Mechanisms for ALS
    Goal of Session: Highlight potential mechanisms in ALS, are they early, late, common
    among other neurodegenerative diseases, common vs diverging pathways for ALS; Motor
    neuron vs cortical neuron in light of FTD/ALS commonality; mindful of how to compare
    disease mechanisms from model systems and in actual disease in humans, discussion of
    biomarkers, prioritization of mechanisms.
    • David Borchelt, PhD, Univ of Florida
    • Nicolas Bazan, MD, PhD, Louisiana State Univ Health Sciences Center
    • Neil Cashman, MD, Univ of British Columbia
    • Piera Pasinelli, PhD, Thomas Jefferson Univ
    • Wim Roberecht, MD, PhD, Univ Hospitals Leuven, (Panel Co‐Chair)
    • Jeffrey Rothstein, MD, PhD, Johns Hopkins Univ, (Panel Co‐Chair)
    • Paul Taylor, MD, PhD, St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital

    Round Table 2
    Target Validation and Drug Development
    Goal of Session‐prioritization of targets, how best to validate, what are the industry
    standards, how can industry work with academia to move more quickly? What is Target
    ALS doing? Mandatory need for pharmacodynamic markers; reliance on preclinical animal
    models vs. human tissue? What are the gaps that other funding initiatives can support?
    • Mike Alijanian, PhD, Bristol‐Myers Squibb, (Panel Co‐Chair)
    • Christine Bulawa, PhD, Pfizer
    • Jonathan Glass, MD, Emory Univ
    • Orest Hurko, MD, EMD Serono
    • Rita Sattler, PhD, Johns Hopkins Univ
    • Frank Walsh, MD, Ossianix Inc., (Panel Co‐Chair)

    Round Table 3
    Animal Models
    Goal of Session; limitations, what have we learned in human translation? Safety
    readouts? Value, ease of distributing models to community, have non vertebrate model
    informed? Centralization of models, standardization, how to use animal models in
    conjunction with human tissue and others models to validate targets, approaches to
    making better animal models, talen technologies, other.
    • Lucie Bruijn, PhD, The ALS Association
    • David Borcelt, PhD, Univ of Florida, (Panel Co‐Chair)
    • Terry Heiman Patterson, MD, Drexel Univ
    • Cat Lutz, PhD, The Jackson Laboratory, (Panel Co‐Chair)
    • Udai Pandey, PhD, Louisiana State Univ
    • Phil Wong, PhD, Johns Hopkins Univ

    Round Table 4
    Clinical Trials, Design, Challenges, Shortfalls
    Some of the themes of recent meeting appropriate NeuroNext centralized IRB, phase II
    trials are they adequate to tell us whether to go to phase II, how do we ensure
    pharmacodynamics markers are available, are there mandatory prerequisites for
    preclinical data before human trials? Stratification.
    • Merit Cudkowicz, MD, MSc, Massachusetts General Hospital, (Panel Co‐Chair)
    • Eva Feldman, MD, PhD, Univ of Michigan Health System
    • Orest Hurko, MD, EMD Serono
    • Robert Miller, MD, California Pacific Medical Center
    • Mercedes Paredes, MD, PhD, Univ of California San Francisco
    • Jess Rabourn, Managing Director, The ALS Emergency Treatment Fund
    • Jeffrey Rosenfeld, MD, PhD, FAAN, Univ of San Francisco, Fresno, (Panel Co‐
    • Jeffrey Rothstein, MD, PhD, Johns Hopkins Univ, (Panel Co‐Chair)

  3. Part 2

    Round Table 5
    Consortium Funding and Project Opportunities
    Highlight current opportunities that would align well with a focused initiative and
    directed funding.
    • Lucie Bruijn, PhD, The ALS Association, (Co‐Chair)
    • Amelie Gubitz, PhD, NINDS, NIH
    • Jane Larkindale, PhD, MDA, (Co‐Chair)
    • Melanie Leitner, PhD, Prize4Life
    • Piera Pasinelli, Ph.D, Thomas Jefferson Univ
    • Alvin Shih, MD, Pfizer

    Round Table 6
    IPS cells, Disease Mechanism and Drug Discovery
    Value as model system, biomarker development, what are industry perspectives,
    phenotypes, standardization, resource sharing, specific patient lines of interest, C9,
    TDP43 access for others globally, evidence for cross validation of an animal models vs.
    human cell lines?
    • Christine Bulawa, PhD, Pfizer
    • Steve Finkbeiner, MD, PhD, Univ of California San Francisco
    • Nick Maragakis, MD Johns Hopkins Univ, (Panel Co‐Chair)
    • Lee Rubin, PhD, Harvard Stem Cell Institute
    • Clive Svendsen, PhD, Cedars‐Sinai, (Panel Co‐Chair)

    Round Table 7
    Patient Technologies
    We need to find better approach/tools to comprehensively integrate patient and their
    environment via technology‐ voice assistance, voice banking, assistive motor
    technologies, integrated home technologies; brain interfaces
    • Gregory Hager, PhD, Johns Hopkins Univ
    • Bill Smart, PhD, Oregon State Univ

    Round Table 8
    Current status, gaps, how best to centralize, partnerships with industry academia, what
    are the current top biomarkers, confidence in each, what is required for further
    validation, what studies need to be done that significant dollars could impact, pre‐FALS
    studies, types of biomarkers, imaging tools for preclinical and clinical approaches,
    pharmacodynamics biomarkers, current initiatives, what would move this field forward
    faster, what is the industry doing?
    • Mike Alijanian, PhD, Bristol‐Myers Squibb, (Panel Co‐Chair)
    • Robert Bowser, PhD, Barrow Neurological Institute, (Panel Co‐Chair)
    • Jonathan Glass, MD, Emory Univ, (Panel Co‐Chair)
    • Mike McGrath, MD, PhD, Univ of California San Francisco