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:12/1/2015)... (PRWEB) , ... December 01, 2015 , ... ... the 1980s we have seen vast improvements in scientific research and discoveries, leading ... strides, providing increased hope and relief to those affected by HIV/AIDS. Mediaplanet’s cross-platform ...
(Date:12/1/2015)... ... December 01, 2015 , ... The importance of volumetric ... the focus of numerous abstracts accepted for presentation here, at the 101st Annual ... abstracts highlight the use of Volpara Solutions’ quantitative breast imaging software tools for ...
(Date:12/1/2015)... ... December 01, 2015 , ... Next ... selected as a finalist in this year’s Fierce Innovation Awards: Healthcare Edition, an ... was recognized as a finalist in the category of Digital Solutions for its ...
(Date:12/1/2015)... ... , ... XTC Semifinals 2016 - CES, Las Vegas, Nevada - ... CES 2016, the world’s largest Consumer Electronic Show, where they will present to a ... of Pacific Investments Veronica Serra, and venture capitalist Tim Draper among many other top ...
(Date:12/1/2015)... ... 2015 , ... SonaCare Medical congratulates the University College London ... on November 18th. This prestigious award recognizes annually organizations that cultivate truly innovative ... medical landscape. , The UCLH team won the award for their innovative approach ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:12/1/2015)... , December 1, 2015 ... new market research report "Nucleic Acid Labeling Market by ... Nick Translation, Random Primer, In Vitro Transcription, Reverse Transcription, ... published by MarketsandMarkets, The global market is expected to ... Million in 2015, growing at a CAGR of 8.65%. ...
(Date:12/1/2015)... , December 1, 2015 Russia ... clinical trials. 70% of new drugs registered in Europe ... Russia . --> Russia has always been ... of new drugs registered in Europe in 2015 ... --> Russia has always been a country ...
(Date:12/1/2015)... 2015 Relmada Therapeutics, Inc. (OTCQB: RLMD), a clinical-stage ... announced today that the company will present at the LD ... at the Luxe Sunset Boulevard Hotel in Los ... Relmada Therapeutics, will present on Thursday, December 3, at 9:00 ... . Please register at least 10 minutes prior to the ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: