Here’s The Actual Impact All Those Buckets Of Ice Had On ALS Research

Remember this time last year when everyone’s congresswoman, favorite singer and probably a distant cousin or 10 was dumping ice water on their heads in the name of ALS research and awareness? The global #IceBucketChallenge raised an estimated $220 million in donations and, a year after it began, we’re learning more about the effect all that money has had.

The Cambridge, Massachusetts-based ALS Therapy Development Institute, a nonprofit biotech focused entirely on ALS, is one group that received a sizable chunk of those funds. According to the institute, the $4 million it received from the campaign went directly toward research programs “with the best opportunities to make an impact to end ALS.”

A quarter of the funds received from the challenge went directly to fund the first precision medicine program for ALS, a program aimed at identifying subtypes of the disease and determining the most effective specific therapies to treat each type in order to advance them into a clinical trial, according to the institute. And the rest funded the development of two clinical trial programs.

Other groups working to address ALS, which is also referred to as Lou Gehrig’s disease, have also spoken to the impact #IceBucketChallenge funds have had on their efforts. In San Francisco, biotech company Cytokinetics received $1.5 million to fund the late-stage testing of an experimental drug, called tirasemtiv, that could improve lung function for ALS patients. This marks the first time such a drug has reached late-stage trials, according to a Bloomberg report.

As for the rest, the ALS Association has outlined how the millions of dollars in donations were doled out to other research programs, educational initiatives and patient and community services on its website. Among the other recipients of funds are the Neuro Collaborative, a partnership between —> Read More