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GEN News Highlights : Jan 16, 2007

MDA's Augie's Quest and ALS Therapy Development Institute Ink $36M Research Collaboration

Major goal of the ALS organization is to license IP to biotech and pharma firms for further development and commercialization.

The Muscular Dystrophy Association (MDA), through its Augie's Quest initiative, and the ALS Therapy Development Institute are establishing a research program dedicated to discovering drugs to treat amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), or Lou Gehrig's disease.

Under the agreement, the collaboration will be funded by MDA's Augie's Quest and by the Institute (formerly the ALS Therapy Development Foundation). MDA will grant at least $6 million a year for the next three years; the Institute will add its $6 million annual budget to the project. Additionally, MDA will provide access to patients through its nationwide network of 225 clinics. MDA's funding for this collaboration is above and beyond its existing ALS research expenditures. The research will take place at the Institute's 16,000 square-foot facility in Cambridge.

A major goal of the ALS Therapy Development Institute will be to license its intellectual property on relevant pathway and drug leads to biotechnology and pharmaceutical companies for further development and commercialization.