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Prize4Life Marks One-Year Anniversary of Avi Kremer ALS Treatment Prize
Date:10/9/2009

Prize, Named for Israeli Entrepreneur, Seeks Treatments for Lou Gehrig's Disease

CAMBRIDGE, Mass., Oct. 9 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Prize4Life, a non-profit organization dedicated to accelerating research into treatments and a cure for ALS, is celebrating the one-year anniversary of its latest prize, the Avi Kremer ALS Treatment Prize. The Treatment Prize is a one million dollar ($1M USD) award for finding a treatment candidate that reliably and significantly increases the lifespan in mouse models of ALS (amyotrophic lateral sclerosis), known in the U.S. as Lou Gehrig's disease. The Treatment Prize is open to all interested researchers worldwide with the goal of accelerating the discovery of treatments and cures for ALS.

ALS is a rapidly progressing neurodegenerative disease that typically steals the life of patients within 2-5 years after diagnosis. It is caused by the degeneration of motor neurons, the nerve cells in the central nervous system that control voluntary muscle movement. It most commonly strikes people between the ages of 40 and 70, and affects men slightly more than women. ALS is the most common motor neuron disease worldwide and as many as 30,000 Americans battle with it at any given time. There is no known cure for ALS and only one FDA-approved treatment, Rilutek, which extends life by 2-3 months.

With the ALS Treatment Prize, Prize4Life is hoping to increase the number of novel ALS treatments in the drug development pipeline. As a critical first step to expanding the pipeline of potential new therapies, the Treatment Prize encourages testing of a wide variety of potential therapies in ALS animal models, a critical scientific and regulatory hurdle for the development of new drugs.

"An effective treatment for ALS is desperately needed, and the existing mouse model is the primary gateway to clinical trials. The identification of a treatment capable of meeting the high survival bar set
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SOURCE Prize4Life
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