The ALS Association and I AM ALS have awarded a $500,000 grant to BrainStorm Cell Therapeutics, a biotechnology company, to support its ALS biomarker research study.
The lack of defined biomarkers for ALS has been a significant challenge to clinicians and researchers who are keen to identify disease risk and onset much earlier and also, to verify the effects of treatments in clinical trials. The funding partnership among The Association, I AM ALS and BrainStorm will draw insights from data and samples collected from patients enrolled in BrainStorm’s ongoing phase 3 clinical trial of its NurOwn treatment to see if the therapy is hitting its targets in the nervous system and generating measurable changes in biomarkers that would signal that the drug works.
“This grant to BrainStorm marks an important step forward in establishing how exactly NurOwn works in the body,” said Calaneet Balas, President and CEO of The ALS Association. “This research is also important to our overall pursuit of identification and validation of ALS biomarkers. We hope NurOwn is ultimately proven effective in treating ALS and we stand ready to support BrainStorm in its plan to apply for a biologics license for NurOwn.”
Danielle Carnival, CEO of I AM ALS commented, “We need to move with urgency in all of our efforts to deliver treatments and cures for ALS. This biomarker research will help us more expeditiously understand the effectiveness of NurOwn, while possibly unlocking discoveries that provide clues for other promising treatments. We are at a pivotal time for ALS research in pursuit of treatment solutions and will do whatever we can, together, to drive new answers and new hope for patients.”
The joint award to BrainStorm consists of a $400,000 grant from The ALS Association and a $100,000 grant from I AM ALS. As part of this agreement, BrainStorm has agreed to share data and samples with the ALS community so that the results can be independently validated and to advance other ALS research.
“We sincerely appreciate the scientific recognition and generous support from The ALS Association and I AM ALS and we are excited through this study to further an already strong partnership between The ALS Association, I AM ALS and Brainstorm,” said Chaim Lebovits, CEO of BrainStorm. “This critical research study involves one of the largest and most robust clinical trial collections of CSF biomarkers. Data generated from this study will increase our understanding of how NurOwn® therapy impacts ALS disease progression and may identify patients who benefit the most from this form of therapy. We also hope that this research study will benefit the broader ALS scientific community as we collectively advance towards our shared goal of delivering much needed treatments.”