Navigation Links
Prize4Life and the Jackson Laboratory team up to fight ALS

Prize4Life, an organization dedicated to finding a cure for amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS, or Lou Gehrig's disease), is partnering with The Jackson Laboratory to help more researchers identify treatment candidates that increase the lifespan of mice that model ALS.

The Jackson Laboratory will provide the most widely used ALS mouse models, and expert guidance for how to work with them, to researchers participating in the Prize4Life $1 million challenge. Established in 2008, the Avi Kremer ALS Treatment Prize is named for a Harvard Business School student who was diagnosed with ALS and who, with fellow students, founded Prize4Life in 2004 to accelerate research for treating and curing ALS by using large inducement prizes.

In 2006, Prize4Life opened the ALS Biomarker Challenge, offering a $1 million prize to the researcher who could find a biomarker that would reliably measure disease progress in ALS patients. Both prizes are open to all interested researchers and have attracted research teams from industry and academia from around the world.

Teams competing for the Avi Kremer ALS Treatment Prize are pursuing several approaches, including therapies to replace damaged cells, protein-based therapeutics, and small-molecule drugs that interfere with ALS-implicated pathways.

ALS progressively erodes muscle control, including the ability to breathe. Five-year survival is rare. According to Jackson Laboratory ALS researcher Gregory Cox, Ph.D., fewer than 10 percent of the 5,600 new ALS cases diagnosed in the United States each year can be directly attributed to family genetics. "This disorder is so devastating, and our knowledge base is still so incomplete," says Dr. Cox. "Our expectation is that there will be a genetic susceptibility to ALS, that it's not completely random."

The first genetic factors to be conclusively linked to ALS, albeit in only 3 percent of cases, are mutations in the antioxidant enzyme superoxide dismutase-1 (SOD1) gene. Most ALS research today concentrates on the pathogenesis of SOD1 mutations in laboratory mice. The most widely used ALS mouse models, popularly known as SOD1 mice, are distributed from dedicated supply colonies maintained by The Jackson Laboratory's JAX Breeding Services.

The Laboratory currently distributes 12 different SOD1 models -- with different forms of the SOD1 mutation and on different genetic backgrounds. Among the most widely used of these models is JAX Mice strain B6SJL-Tg(SOD1*G93A)1Gur/J (002726). Like several other SOD1 models, this one has a high copy number of the mutant human superoxide dismutase 1 (SOD1) transgene, which contains the Gly93-->Ala (G93A) substitution. The mutation underlies the most studied form of inherited ALS in humans. The mice lose motor neurons in the spinal cord, become paralyzed in one or more limbs, and die by four to five months. These phenotypes closely model those of human ALS (Gurney et al. 1994).

"An effective treatment for ALS is desperately needed, and the existing [SOD1] mouse model is the primary gateway to clinical trials," wrote prominent ALS researcher Tom Maniatis, Ph.D., on Maniatis is chair of Columbia University's Biochemistry and Molecular Biophysics Program, a member of Prize4Life's scientific advisory board, and a trustee of The Jackson Laboratory.

Many of the initial studies conducted with Tg(SOD1*G93A)1Gur/J mice have provided a wealth of information and insight on how to best use the mice in preclinical trials. However, like other highly expressed transgenes, the G93A transgene can spontaneously lose copy number, which can greatly confound experimental results. Therefore, the mice need to be handled carefully. When Prize4Life approached The Jackson Laboratory to establish a dedicated supply for their researchers, Chief Operating Officer and Chief Scientific Officer Melanie Leitner, Ph.D. and Scientific Program Officer A. Sheila Menzies, Ph.D., together with Jackson Associate Director for Genetic Resource Science Cathleen Lutz, Ph.D., produced a companion set of informational materials titled Working with ALS Mice: Guidelines for Preclinical Testing & Colony Management, which can be downloaded in PDF format at

"Prize4Life spearheaded this effort," says Lutz. "It's really targeted to those investigators who are new to the field of ALS and who are working with the SOD1 mice and designing their preclinical trials. The scientific community has learned a great deal about how to work with these mice over the years. It's important to make that information more widely known so that valuable time and resources aren't wasted by repeating past mistakes.

"If Prize4life succeeds in its goal of bridging the critical steps between academic discovery and therapy in the clinic, it could have major implications for ALS patients and for any group trying to solve a biomedical problem," Lutz adds. Interested researchers can learn more at


Contact: Joyce Peterson
Jackson Laboratory

Related medicine news :

1. Prize4Life and the Alzheimer Research Forum Announce Launch of New Web-Portal for ALS Research
2. Prize4Life Marks One-Year Anniversary of Avi Kremer ALS Treatment Prize
3. Randy Jackson and the American Heart Association Promote Awareness about the Connection Between Type 2 Diabetes and Cardiovascular Disease
4. Randy Jackson Takes Aim at Diabetes
5. CapitalSouth Bank Officially Opens Three of Four New Locations in Jacksonville
6. First in Nation: notMYkid Educational Center Is Now a Reality Thanks to a Partnership Between Chrysler, Barrett-Jackson and notMYkid
7. Jackson Lewis to Support Presagias Integrated Absence & Disability Management Solution
8. Randy Jackson and the American Heart Association Educate Cincinnati Area Residents about the Connection between Type 2 Diabetes and Cardiovascular Disease
9. Randy Jackson and the American Heart Association Educate Minneapolis Area about the Connection between Type 2 Diabetes and Cardiovascular Disease
10. Randy Jackson and the American Heart Association Educate Raleigh Area Residents About the Connection Between Type 2 Diabetes and Cardiovascular Disease
11. Jackson Hewitt(R) Celebrates Healthcare Workers With Occupation-Based Tax Savings
Post Your Comments:
(Date:11/27/2015)... ... November 27, 2015 , ... The print component ... Today in Atlanta, Dallas, New York, Minneapolis, South Florida, with a circulation of ... distributed nationally, through a vast social media strategy and across a network of ...
(Date:11/27/2015)... Wilmington, DE (PRWEB) , ... November 27, 2015 ... ... a member of the well-respected Microsoft Dynamics SL User Group (MSDSLUG). Recognized as ... is an independent group of Microsoft Dynamics SL software users, partners, industry experts ...
(Date:11/27/2015)... ... November 27, 2015 , ... CBD College is ... Health Education Programs (CAAHEP) awarded accreditation to its Diagnostic Medical Sonography program. CBD College ... as only one of twelve colleges and universities in the state of California make ...
(Date:11/27/2015)... , ... November 27, 2015 , ... ... center software Q-Suite, announces the incorporation of Asterisk 11 LTS (Long Term Support) ... supported Asterisk 11 LTS brings Q-Suite 5.10 up-to-date with a version of Asterisk ...
(Date:11/26/2015)... ... November 26, 2015 , ... ... Travel Representative. As a franchise owner, Somu now offers travelers, value and care ... wedding packages, private cruise sales, as well as, cabin upgrades and special amenities ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:11/26/2015)... November 26, 2015 ... the "Radioimmunoassay Market by Type (Reagents ... Industry, Academics, Clinical Diagnostic Labs), Application (Research, ... to 2020" report to their offering. ... the addition of the "Radioimmunoassay Market ...
(Date:11/25/2015)... WASHINGTON , Nov. 25, 2015  The ... Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG), and the March of ... bipartisan Protecting Our Infants Act of 2015 ... the number of newborns born exposed to drugs, ... Since the bill,s introduction, all three organizations have ...
(Date:11/25/2015)... MELVILLE, N.Y. , Nov. 25, 2015  Henry ... products and services to office-based dental, medical and animal ... Dental (GNYDM) Meeting the Henry Schein ConnectDental® Pavilion ... industry,s broadest array of open solutions designed to help ... Click here for a schedule of ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: