Cambridge, MA, January 23, 2020 — The ALS Therapy Development Institute (ALS TDI), the world’s most comprehensive lab dedicated solely to ALS research, is pleased to announce the formal naming of its Augie’s Quest Translational Research Center at the ALS Therapy Development Institute. In recognition of the tremendous contributions of Augie & Lynne Nieto, Augie’s Quest Translational Research Center honors the work, innovation and steadfast support of the entire Augie’s Quest organization and its many generous and committed donors, especially across the fitness and greater business community.
“It’s really incredible. For 15 years, Augie’s Quest has been dedicated to raising the critical funds and broad awareness needed to help fast-track ALS TDI’s cutting-edge ALS research – specifically providing ALS TDI with more than $150 million to advance its efforts to end ALS.” commented Steven Perrin Ph.D., CEO of ALS TDI.
Housed within ALS TDI’s Cambridge, Mass., laboratory, the Augie’s Quest Translational Research Center will help to strengthen its existing and future research efforts by aiming to dissect mechanisms of clinical ALS and use the knowledge to develop new, more powerful drug discovery platforms and facilitate more effective drug development in ALS.
“Researchers still do not fully understand the mechanisms that lead from a genetic mutation to the onset and progression of ALS. This knowledge gap presents a significant challenge for ALS drug discovery.”added Matvey Lukashev, Ph.D., Senior Director Translational Research.
Translational research conductedat ALS TDI aims to investigate these mechanisms by analyzing clinical data along with patient-derived biological samples and experimental models of human disease. They do this with the goal of rapidly and efficiently translating new information into tangible drug discovery methods and high-quality drug candidates.
“In recent years, translational research has emerged as an increasingly important component of ALS TDI’s drug discovery,” says Fernando Vieira, M.D., Chief Scientific Officer, ALS Therapy Development Institute. “We owe much of our progress and ability to expand this transformative, essential research to Augie’s Quest. And, we are honored to celebrate this impact on our science with this special commendation.”
ALS TDI’s translational research effort was initiated and is carried on in tight integration with its Precision Medicine Program (PMP), the most comprehensive and longest running translational research study in ALS. Through the PMP, researchers at ALS TDI partner with people with ALS around the world to share data that feeds into the Augie’s Quest Translational Research Center. This integration serves ALS TDI’s mission to discover and develop effective treatments for ALS.
Augie Nieto serves as Chairman of the Board for both Augie’s Quest to Cure ALS and the ALS Therapy Development Institute. “Augie’s Quest and our steadfast supporters have been strong believers in the work being done at the ALS Therapy Development Institute since 2006, and we are proud to be the largest funder of their important research. The Augie’s Quest Translational Research Center at ALS TDI will change the trajectory of drug discovery,” added Nieto.
Located in Cambridge, ALS TDI is a non-profit biotech that spans every aspect of drug discovery research and therapeutic development. ALS, also known as Motor Neuron Disease (MND), Lou Gehrig's Disease, and Charcot's disease, is a progressive neurodegenerative disease which attacks motor neurons in the brain and spinal cord resulting in the wasting away of muscle and loss of movement. There is an estimated 30,000 people in the United States living with ALS at any given time and every 90 minutes, someone is diagnosed with the disease. There are currently no effective treatments for ALS. Yet, ALS is curable; it’s only underfunded.
About ALS Therapy Development Institute
The ALS Therapy Development Institute (ALS TDI) and its researchers discover and develop potential treatments for ALS. It is the world’s first and largest nonprofit biotech focused 100 percent on ALS research. Led by drug development experts and people with ALS, ALS TDI understands the urgent need to slow and stop this disease.
Based in Cambridge, MA, ALS TDI has more than 30 full-time, industry trained, drug development experts on staff. ALS TDI is internationally recognized as a leader in preclinical and translational ALS research, and partners with pharmaceutical companies and biotech organizations all around the world. Rated a four-star nonprofit on Charity Navigator, ALS TDI spends 87 cents of every dollar raised on finding effective treatments and cures for ALS. Visit www.als.net for more information.
About Augie’s Quest to Cure ALS
Augie’s Quest to Cure ALS is a nonprofit committed to changing the experience of people living with ALS by fast-tracking cutting-edge research to advance effective treatments and an ultimate cure. The organization is galvanizing thousands to join this fight, confronting ALS in an entirely new way, and driving innovative research forward, and at an accelerated pace. We are working to bring an exciting treatment, AT-1501, and many others, to market as fast as we can via our research partners at the ALS Therapy Development Institute. Augie’s Quest was founded more than a decade ago by Augie Nieto, the successful fitness industry mogul behind Lifecycle and Life Fitness who was diagnosed with ALS in 2005 and whose life story was recently chronicled in the award-winning film, Augie. With Augie’s Quest, ALS doesn’t stand a fighting chance. Because ALS isn’t incurable, it’s only underfunded. Please join our quest at www.augiesquest.org.