WASHINGTON, Dec. 4, 2019 /PRNewswire/ -- The ALS Association is partnering with, and will be directly investing in, the ALS Investment Fund II to raise $100 million to accelerate investment in ALS research and development. This second venture fund with offices in Boston and Amsterdam, succeeds a fund that started in The Netherlands and raised $25 million in two-and-a-half years to invest in companies with ALS initiatives.
ALS is a progressive neurodegenerative disease that affects nerve cells in the brain and spinal cord. Over the course of the disease, people lose the ability to move, to speak, and eventually, to breathe. On average, it takes about a year before a final ALS diagnosis is made. The disease is always fatal, usually within five years of diagnosis. There is no cure.
"By investing in private start-up companies that are on the forefront of developing new ALS therapies, this fund will build on the momentum we have seen in ALS research since the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge and help move these efforts from the lab into the clinic," said Calaneet Balas, president and CEO of The ALS Association.
"We are excited to leverage our experience and deep knowledge about ALS into a larger, second fund and are pleased to be partnering and collaborating with The ALS Association. We welcome broad participation and support from the whole ALS community – foundations, patients, and interested life science investors. We see this partnership as a cornerstone to creating a unique, scaled vehicle to accelerate the translation of promising ALS therapeutics through clinical trials to patients," said Felix von Coerper, Managing Partner of the ALS Investment Fund.
"We are excited to apply the Venture Capital model to attract additional investment to ALS and accelerate drug development to patients, given the success of related venture models in advancing therapeutic development for other diseases, e.g. cystic fibrosis. With all the general advances in medicine and the ALS-specific scientific progress over the last five years, now is an exciting time to invest in a diverse portfolio of ALS companies," said Craig Boyce, Managing Partner of the ALS Investment Fund.
The ALS Investment Fund includes partners in the United States and Europe and includes a broad network of ALS key opinion leaders. The Fund maintains ties to major sites of ALS clinical and research excellence globally. The fund will focus on diversified companies with strong pre-clinical data, who are entering Phase I/II trials to achieve proof of concept and valuation inflection.
With ALS as the lead focus, the Fund plans to create a diversified portfolio across a range of therapeutic targets and approaches to slow the progression of ALS, working toward an eventual cure, as well as invest in companies with platform technologies that could transform drug development not only in ALS but also more broadly.
About the ALS Association
The ALS Association is the largest private funder of ALS research in the world. The Association funds global research collaborations, provides assistance for people with ALS and their families through its nationwide network of chapters and certified clinical care centers, and advocates for better public policies for people with ALS. The ALS Association builds hope and enhances quality of life while urgently searching for new treatments and a cure. For more information about The ALS Association, visit our website at www.alsa.org.
About the ALS Investment Fund
The ALS Investment Fund is a Venture Capital fund that invests in biotech companies developing drugs in a specialized area of disease: neurodegeneration, with a particular focus in ALS. The fund looks for companies with either platform approaches relevant to multiple diseases, and/or with multiple drugs already in clinical development. The ALS Investment Fund seeks to generate attractive returns for investors by delivering on its mission of accelerating therapeutics to ALS patients. For more information about the ALS Investment Fund, team, investment profile and portfolio, please visit our website at http://www.alsinvestmentfund.com
SOURCE The ALS Association