Your support fuels our research to #EndALS! Donate Now

How Do We Find Effective Treatments

Finding new medicines to treat diseases is a long process. In order to identify the most promising treatments, potential therapies must move through a series of steps to determine safety and effectiveness. This set of steps is often referred to as the "Drug Development Funnel".
See how ALS TDI uses this comprehensive approach to move potential ALS treatments through the funnel. Watch this video to learn about the Drug Development Funnel.
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 400 potential treatments for ALS—more than any other ALS research lab in the world.
  • Launched the ALS TDI's ALS Research Collaborative (ARC) – an ambitious global initiative that is designed to accelerate ALS research by gathering comprehensive data from people with ALS and sharing it with researchers around 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. In 2023, the PMP evolved to become what is now the ALS Research Collaborative (ARC).
  • ALS TDI becoming the first nonprofit biotech in any disease to invent a potential treatment, tegoprubart, 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
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
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
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
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 ALS Research Collaborative (ARC), 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. These include 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. This ensures that there is a robust pipeline of potential treatments to treat every person with ALS.
How We're Targeting ALS
Our ALS Research Collaborative (ARC) is the most comprehensive and longest running translational research study in ALS. Through ARC, 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 Executive Officer and Chief Scientific Officer
Fernando G. Vieira, M.D. is the Chief Executive Officer and 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
Kyle Denton, Ph.D.
Kyle Denton, Ph.D.
Director, Cell Biology
Dr. Kyle Denton joined the ALS Therapy Development Institute in 2016. He is currently working on establishing high-throughput methods for generating neural subtypes from patient induced pluripotent stem cells to use in phenotype discovery and drug screening studies. Kyle joined the Institute because of his interest in neurodegenerative research and the opportunity to work with the resources that the ALS Research Collaborative provides. He came to the Institute after a postdoctoral position in Dr. Jennifer Lippincott-Schwartz’s lab at the National Institutes of Health. Kyle received his Ph.D. from the University of Connecticut Health Center in Biomedical Sciences, with a concentration in neuroscience. Prior to that, he received his B.A. and M.A. from Clark University in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology in 2010 and 2011, respectively. In his free time, Kyle enjoys cycling and hiking.
Theo Hatzipetros, Ph.D
Theo Hatzipetros, Ph.D
Senior 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 pharmacological stimulants.
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.