WASHINGTON, March 21, 2016 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The ALS Association and Prize4Life are pleased to announce the launch of a joint partnership to expand the ALS Research Forum (http://www.alsresearchforum.org/), a web-based news and resource portal for researchers interested in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), also known as Lou Gehrig's Disease or motor neuron disease.
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 cure, and only one drug approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) modestly extends survival.
The ALS Research Forum was established by Prize4Life to help new and veteran ALS researchers rapidly and freely access high quality ALS research-related information and tools. Since its launch in 2009, the ALS Research Forum has provided high-caliber news coverage through a collaboration with Alzforum (http://www.alzforum.org), the largest research news and information website dedicated to accelerating the discovery and development of diagnostics and treatments for Alzheimer's disease (AD) and related neurodegenerative disorders. The ALS Research Forum program will continue to co-fund an Alzforum science writer to provide cutting-edge reporting on the latest ALS research for the neurodegeneration research community. While AD and ALS are distinct diseases, their science increasingly overlaps, creating a natural partnership opportunity to bring Alzforum's 20-year journalistic experience to the ALS research community.
Under the new partnership between Prize4Life and The ALS Association, the ALS Research Forum will expand the research and drug development news coverage in the ALS field and will organize resources currently dispersed across multiple websites for the research community. The site will add avenues for sharing and discussing scientific breakthroughs, through addition of media and community features. In addition, the website will continue to provide the existing resources, such as a database of biotechnology and pharmaceutical companies working on drug development projects relevant for the ALS research community, listings of scientific meetings and announcements of funding opportunities related to ALS.
"The ALS Association is extremely pleased to be partnering with Prize4Life on this important and exciting initiative. Prize4Life has built a tremendous platform that we can now build on together to enhance communications and provide access to resources for the growing ALS research community. This is a unique time in ALS research with increasing investment from both the industry and non-profit sector, and we are making significant progress towards developing treatments for ALS," commented Lucie Bruijn, Ph.D. M.B.A., Chief Scientist, The ALS Association. "For us to succeed, it is essential to work globally and collaboratively ensuring that we are connecting the most promising ideas and resources within the ALS community and related disorders."
"As a patient, I must do all I can for future patients. The ALS Research Forum is an infrastructure tool to support the entire ALS research community and by making the most important information accessible to all who can benefit from it, the Forum becomes an even more valuable resource," commented Shay Rishoni, M.B.A., CEO of Prize4Life and a person living with ALS.
"The ALS research field has been flourishing with a wealth of new discoveries and new research initiatives over the past few years. This is a welcome transformation for a disease that has historically been under-funded and under-studied. However, hand in hand comes the need to build resources to help the scientific community navigate the wealth of new information and scientific literature," said Sara Shnider, Ph.D., Executive Director of Prize4Life and Program Director for the ALS Research Forum. "We foresee that this program will build necessary resources that do not currently exist and help the community better leverage the ones that do, in order to help spark new ideas, stimulate collaboration and accelerate research efforts."
"Alzforum is pleased to continue to partner with ALS Research Forum. We see our collaboration as a way to make Alzforum's neurodegenerative disease expertise available globally to scientists who seek highly accurate, contextualized information on ALS as they work to understand and better treat this devastating disease," said Gabrielle Strobel, Executive Editor of Alzforum.
About the ALS Research Forum The ALS Research Forum (previously called the ALS Forum) was established by Prize4Life in 2009 in partnership with the Biomedical Research Forum's Alzforum, the largest online research community dedicated to research into Alzheimer's disease and related neurodegenerative disorders. Through the strategic collaboration with Prize4Life, the Alzforum has provided cutting edge coverage of ALS-related research news produced by Alzforum's science writers and has expanded the ALS research news coverage across the research communities of AD and other neurodegenerative diseases. Visit the ALS Research Forum at http://www.alsresearchforum.org/.
About Prize4Life Prize4Life is non-profit organization whose mission is to accelerate the discovery of treatments and a cure for ALS (amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, also known as Lou Gehrig's disease) by using powerful incentives to attract new people and drive innovation. The organization seeks to attract new minds, media and money to the battle against ALS in order to leverage vital existing ALS research efforts and to accelerate the translational research process. Founded in 2006 by Avi Kremer and managed by Shay Rishoni, both people living with ALS, Prize4Life encourages and rewards creative approaches that will yield real results for ALS patients. For more information about Prize4Life, visit http://www.prize4life.org.il.
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.
About Alzforum Founded in 1996, Alzforum is an online news and information resource dedicated to helping researchers accelerate discovery and advance development of diagnostics and treatments for Alzheimer's disease and related disorders. Our site expands the traditional mode of scientific communication by reporting the latest scientific findings and industry news with insightful analysis that puts breaking news into context. In addition, we advance research by developing open-access databases of curated, highly specific scientific content to visualize and facilitate the exploration of complex data. Alzforum is a platform to disseminate the evolving knowledge around basic, translational, and clinical research in AD and related neurodegenerative diseases. For more information about Alzforum, visit www.alzforum.org.