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How Do We Find Effective Treatments

Finding new medicines to treat diseases is a long process. A series of steps have been designed to identify the most effective treatments while also ensuring that they can be used safely. This set of steps is often referred to as the “Drug Development Funnel”.
Click this video to learn about the Drug Development Funnel and see how ALS TDI uses a comprehensive approach to move potential ALS treatments through this funnel as quickly as possible.
Relentless Research
We are dedicated to discovering and developing effective treatments to end amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). We will not stop until there are treatments for every single person living with ALS. Our cutting edge approach has resulted in:
  • The rigorous screening of over 370 potential treatments for ALS—more than any other ALS research lab in the world.
  • The world's first Precision Medicine Program, a partnership with people living with ALS, designed to speed up drug discovery and therapeutic development for ALS.
  • ALS TDI becoming the first nonprofit biotech in any disease to invent a potential treatment, AT-1501, and bring it from our own labs, through FDA review and into clinical trial.
  • The improvement of worldwide standards for preclinical drug screening in models of ALS.
Research Relentless

Our Approach to End ALS

At ALS TDI we understand the urgent need to discover and develop potential treatments for ALS. Our comprehensive approach to ALS research spans every aspect of drug discovery, research, and therapeutic development. Click the video to learn more about the research being done at ALS TDI.
Our Comprehensive Approach to
Discovering Effective Treatments
1 We Operate
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One of the largest preclinical drug validation programs in als.
There are too few potential treatments in clinical trials for ALS. We need a robust, good quality drug pipeline to ultimately treat every person with ALS. More treatments mean more hope.
2 We Validate
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More models of als to allow for rigorous testing.
ALS is extremely complex involving a myriad of biological pathways. To test drugs more rigorously, we need a variety of both cell and animal models to capture all of the complexities of ALS.
3 We Aim
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To improve how als clinical trials are run.
Clinical trials for ALS currently require too many participants. That slows the studies down and makes them very costly. Using emerging technologies, we hope to make clinical trials more efficient to reveal the most promising treatments faster.
4 We Learn
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About ALS from people with ALS.
We believe that best way to learn more about ALS is to partner with people with ALS. Through our Precision Medicine Program, we combine medical histories, family histories, genetics, biomarkers, and patient cell biology to better understand the processes that drive and influence ALS.
How We're Targeting ALS
ALS is a complex disease involving many biological pathways; like oxidative stress, immune modulation, unfolded protein response, and more. This means that we have a number of targets to take aim at when testing potential treatments for ALS. At ALS TDI we work on many projects simultaneously to ensure there is a robust pipeline of potential therapies that will ultimately treat every person with ALS.
How We're Targeting ALS
Precision Medicine Program
Our Precision Medicine Program (PMP) is the most comprehensive and longest running translational research study in ALS. Through the PMP, our researchers partner with people with ALS to share and gather data to better understand the disease. Our ultimate goals are to discover new treatments for ALS and make clinical trials faster and more efficient. But it only works if you participate.
Our Leaders in ALS Research
Meet the scientists who are leading our research to find effective treatments for ALS. Click on our leadership team members to learn more about their experience.
To learn more about our science team, click here
Fernando Vieira, M.D.
Fernando Vieira, M.D.
Chief Scientific Officer
Fernando G. Vieira, M.D. is the Chief Scientific Officer at the ALS Therapy Development Institute where he leads a multidisciplinary team of scientists and researchers in their efforts to discover treatments and biomarkers for amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). He has been working in ALS research since 2001. Dr. Vieira studied biological engineering at the University of Florida and medicine at Harvard Medical School. He has been awarded numerous patents for the invention of potential therapeutics for ALS and other neurodegenerative diseases. His research findings, spanning preclinical, basic, clinical, and translational ALS research, have been published in dozens of peer-reviewed journals including Nature Genetics and Science Translational Medicine. His publications have been cited more than 1000 times.
Fernando is a proud father and enjoys spending time outdoors hiking and running with his son.
"The essential thing 'in heaven and earth' is, apparently, that there should be a long obedience in the same direction; there thereby results, and has always resulted in the long run, something which has made life worth living." –Friedrich Nietzche
Matvey Lukashev, Ph.D.
Matvey Lukashev, Ph.D.
Senior Director of Translational Research
Dr. Lukashev joined the ALS Therapy Development Institute in 2013 with over 20 years of postgraduate research experience and 14 years of biotechnology industry experience. He has supported and led therapeutic discovery and development programs across all stages of drug development in therapeutic areas of neurology, oncology, immunology and fibrosis. His leadership of the research effort supporting clinical development of Tecfidera, an oral small molecule therapeutic recently approved by the FDA for treatment of multiple sclerosis was recognized by an Outstanding Scientific Achievement Award from Biogen Idec, Inc. Dr. Lukashev received a Ph.D. from the Russian Academy of Medical Sciences, and postdoctoral training at Johns Hopkins and University of California, San Francisco.
Theo Hatzipetros, Ph.D
Theo Hatzipetros, Ph.D
Director of Pharmacology
Dr. Theo Hatzipetros joined the ALS Therapy Development Institute in 2011. He is an in vivo pharmacologist who specializes in the field of neurodegeneration. Prior to joining the Institute, Theo worked on drug discovery for the treatment of Parkinson's Disease at FoldRx Pharmaceuticals. At the ALS Therapy Development Institute, Theo's efforts are focused on the development of novel animal models of ALS and in evaluating therapeutic strategies for the treatment of the disease. Theo, originally from Cyprus, received his doctorate in pharmacology from Boston University School of Medicine for his thesis work on the neurotoxic effects of the psychostimulant methamphetamine.
Alan Gill, Ph.D.
Alan Gill, Ph.D.
Vice President of Research
Dr. Alan Gill joined the ALS Therapy Development Institute in 2007. He is an experienced pharmacologist/physiologist with a thorough understanding of practical investigation in complex in vivo animal systems. He came to the Institute after a one-year immersion in Huntington's disease drug discovery as the Director and Head of Pharmacology at EnVivo Pharmaceuticals, a biotechnology company concentrating on neurodegenerative diseases. Prior to EnVivo he worked for 13 years in Biogen and Biogen Idec's drug discovery research division where he instituted Biogen's Pharmacology Department. These efforts led to drug candidates that were the basis for collaboration with Merck and Co. for their clinical development, and to small molecule and protein potential therapeutics selected for development by Biogen Idec itself. Prior to working for Biogen, Alan worked for 12 years with Johnson & Johnson's worldwide drug discovery research division. He received his Ph.D. in Pharmacology from the M.S. Hershey Medical Center of the Pennsylvania State University, and his Master's degree in Physiology and Bachelor's degree in Biology from the University of San Francisco.