WOONSOCKET, R.I., June 3, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- CVS/pharmacy has launched its annual in-store Advancing Medical Research fundraising campaign to support medical research and help improve the quality of life for those living with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). Funds raised through the campaign will benefit the ALS Therapy Alliance (ATA), a national nonprofit organization dedicated to advancing ALS research. Supporters of the 2013 campaign can donate $1 or $3 at the register in CVS/pharmacy locations nationwide and online at www.cvs.com/als through June 29.
ALS is a neurodegenerative disorder that is characterized by progressive degeneration of motor nerves in the brain and spinal cord, typically leading to paralysis and death within four to six years. There is no known cause or cure for ALS, which affects approximately 30,000 Americans, with 5,600 new cases diagnosed nationwide each year.
But a new research grant, funded by CVS/pharmacy, is exploring gene silencing therapies that aim to end the progression of ALS in patients and provide new leads for solving other degenerative disorders.
"CVS/pharmacy and its Advancing Medical Research campaign have helped us realize critical advancements in ALS research, including our new research project on gene silencing therapies," said Dr. Robert H. Brown, Jr., president of ALS Therapy Alliance.
"Many of the ALS cases that we understand at the molecular level arise because a 'sick' gene makes a toxic protein that kills a cell, but if we can turn off the gene, then the toxicity is ameliorated," Dr. Brown explained.
"We hope that this important research will yield results in the near term and move us toward therapies for human use," continued Dr. Brown. "And we know that we're closer than ever before to finding a cure for ALS through the support we receive from CVS/pharmacy and the annual in-store campaign."
CVS/pharmacy has raised more than $30 million in support of ALS research over the past 11 years. Through the Advancing Medical Research campaign, CVS/pharmacy will continue to help ATA drive medical research, including the development of groundbreaking gene silencing therapies, with the goal to end ALS.
"As a pharmacy innovation company that is committed to helping people on their path to better health, CVS Caremark supports organizations and medical research that address important health care issues," said Jon Roberts, Executive Vice President for CVS Caremark and honorary chair of the Advancing Medical Research Campaign. "For the past 11 years, we've been able to make a significant impact in advancing ALS research with support from our colleagues and customers. Through the Advancing Medical Research campaign, we continue to make a difference in the lives of those who are living with ALS and support groundbreaking developments to help bring us one step closer to ending this devastating disease."
To learn more about the Advancing Medical Research campaign or make a donation, please visit www.cvs.com/als.
About ALS Therapy Alliance (ATA)
ALS Therapy Alliance was founded in 2000 to facilitate ALS research projects and collaborations among a diverse group of scientists and clinicians. The scientists involved in the ATA are affiliated with some of the best universities and medical centers, including, among others, the University of Massachusetts Medical School, Massachusetts General Hospital, Harvard Medical School, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Harvard College, Brigham and Women's Hospital, Beth Israel Deaconess Hospital, and Boston University. ATA's board is comprised of outstanding clinicians, scientists and business associates including two Nobel Prize Laureates, H. Robert Horvitz, Ph.D. and Craig C. Mello, Ph.D., who are committed to the organization's mission. CVS Caremark is the largest corporate donor to ALS research. For more information, please visit www.alstherapyalliance.org.
CVS/pharmacy, the retail division of CVS Caremark Corporation (NYSE: CVS), is America's leading retail pharmacy with more than 7,400 CVS/pharmacy and Longs Drug stores. CVS/pharmacy is reinventing pharmacy to help people on their path to better health by providing the most accessible and personalized expertise, both in its stores and online at CVS.com. General information about CVS/pharmacy and CVS Caremark is available at http://info.cvscaremark.com.
Joanne Dwyer, CVS/pharmacy
Eva Pereira, RF|Binder
Maureen O'Connell, Cone Communications