WASHINGTON, May 1, 2016 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- May is ALS Awareness Month, an annual grassroots effort led by the ALS community and The ALS Association to raise awareness about amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) and move people to action in advancing the search for effective treatments and a cure. On Monday, May 2, The ALS Association is pleased to join Cytokinetics, Inc. (Nasdaq: CYTK), along with people living with ALS and their families, for the ringing of the closing bell at NASDAQ in New York City to kick off this year's campaign.
ALS is a progressive neurodegenerative disease that affects nerve cells in the brain and the spinal cord. Eventually, people with ALS lose the ability to initiate and control muscle movement, which often leads to total paralysis and death within two to five years of diagnosis. For unknown reasons, veterans are twice as likely to develop ALS as the general population. There is no known cause or cure. Currently, there is only one drug approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) that modestly extends survival. Proactive, expert community-based and clinical care has proven to improve quality and extend life by three times as much.
"We are honored to join Cytokinetics and representatives from our Greater New York and Golden West Chapters at NASDAQ to recognize May as ALS Awareness Month," said Barb Newhouse, President and CEO of The ALS Association. "Advancing potential therapies to treat ALS is key to delivering on our mission. We are thankful that Cytokinetics shares our vision to create a world without ALS."
The ALS Association has supported many phases of Cytokinetics' clinical development program for tirasemtiv, a fast skeletal muscle activator for the potential treatment of ALS. In June 2015, The Association partnered with Cytokinetics and The Barrow Neurological Institute at the University of Arizona in Phoenix to support the collection of plasma samples from people living with ALS that are enrolled in Cytokinetics' Phase III clinical trial VITALITY-ALS (Ventilatory Investigation of Tirasemtiv and Assessment of Longitudinal Indices after Treatment for a Year in ALS), designed to assess the effects of tirasemtiv versus placebo on slow vital capacity, or SVC, and other measures of skeletal muscle strength, and to advance the discovery of ALS biomarkers in patients with ALS. In March 2016, The Association announced funding to support Origent Data Sciences, Inc. to enable a research partnership with Cytokinetics to improve clinical trial design.
Cytokinetics is a proud Gold Level sponsor of The Association's Walk to Defeat ALS®. On Saturday, May 7, The ALS Association Greater New York Chapter will celebrate ALS Awareness Month at its Walk to Defeat ALS event at Pier 45 at the Hudson River Park. Those interested in attending can register here.
Cytokinetics is also a major sponsor of The ALS Association Golden West Chapter, and will be honored at the Chapter's upcoming "Champions for Care and A Cure" benefit on Friday, June 3 in San Francisco. "Cytokinetics' continued support for the ALS community ensures that vital resources are available to everyone who needs them," said Fred Fisher, MSW, LCSW, President and CEO of the Golden West Chapter
As an important part of ALS Awareness Month, hundreds of people from across the U.S. will come to Washington, D.C. from May 8-10 to urge lawmakers to advocate for more ALS research funding and to advance policies to help people living with the disease at The Association's National ALS Advocacy Day and Public Policy Conference.
To learn more about ALS Awareness Month, please visit www.ALSA.org.
Additionally, The ALS Association is honored that Quantum® Rehab will be the official sponsor of ALS Awareness Month. Quantum is a Pride Mobility Products® Corporation company and designs and manufactures complex rehabilitation solutions for individuals with comprehensive mobility needs. As a Premier-Level national partner of The Association, Quantum supports important events, including Walk to Defeat ALS®.
About The ALS Association
The ALS Association is the only national non-profit organization fighting Lou Gehrig's Disease on every front. By leading the way in global research, providing assistance for people with ALS through a nationwide network of chapters, coordinating multidisciplinary care through certified clinical care centers and fostering government partnerships, The Association builds hope and enhances quality of life while aggressively searching for new treatments and a cure. For more information about The ALS Association, visit our website at www.alsa.org.
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SOURCE The ALS Association