MONROVIA, Calif., November 2, 2018 — AcuraStem, a rapidly-growing and innovative biotech company advancing novel research in neurodegenerative diseases will join in the fight against ALS as a sponsor of the 16th Annual Los Angeles County Walk to Defeat ALS® on Sunday, November 4, at Exposition Park in Los Angeles. The team will walk with “Team Nanci” and be on hand at the AcuraStem booth to talk to patients and families affected by Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS) about its mission and research underway. Patients are also encouraged to join AcuraStem’s patient registry at the walk or on acurastem.com.
Team Nanci was founded by the friends and family of publicist Nanci Ryder. Ryder is co-founder of BWR Public Relations and has been a prominent publicist in Los Angeles for more than 30 years. She was diagnosed with ALS in 2014 and has since been a tireless advocate for ALS awareness. During the walk, Ryder will be honored with the 2018 Walk Hero Award for making courageous and inspirational efforts in the areas of advocacy, fundraising and public awareness while living with ALS. To learn more and make a gift in support, please visit: teamnanci.org.
"The AcuraStem team congratulates Nanci on her Hero Award,” said AcuraStem Co-Founder and Chairman Dr. Paul August. “We have had the honor of spending time with Nanci and members of her team and are inspired by their spirit and tenacity to change the outcome of ALS for patients around the world. We aim to do the same through our research.”
Last year, AcuraStem President and Co-founder Dr. Justin Ichida joined 83 members of Team Nanci in raising nearly $127,000 at the walk, making them the top fundraiser for the fourth consecutive year. This year, the team is on track to meet their $150,000 goal. Prominent members of Team Nanci have included Courtney Cox, Jennifer Garner, Jeffrey Katzenberg, Emmy Rossum, Reese Witherspoon and Renee Zellweger among hundreds of others who have been by Ryder’s side throughout her battle with ALS.
"We are a direct beneficiary of that money, and that money has led to our discoveries,” Ichida told The Hollywood Reporter in 2017, referring to his lab studies at the University of Southern California. “It's a circuit and every piece is critical to make it complete, even if it takes a while to see the pieces come together. Each piece makes all the difference, and so does each new discovery.” The Golden West Chapter honored Ichida’s work and his lab in 2017 with their Commitment to a Cure Award.
Proceeds from the LA Walk support the mission of The ALS Association Golden West Chapter to discover treatments and a cure for ALS, and to serve, advocate for, and empower people affected by ALS to live their lives to the fullest. The Golden West Chapter serves people with ALS and their families in 31 counties throughout California and in the state of Hawaii. Everything they do advances the search for effective treatments and cures for ALS.
The 16th Annual Los Angeles County Walk to Defeat ALS® will be held on Sunday, November 4, at 700 Exposition Park Drive, Exposition Park, Los Angeles, CA. Registration starts at 9 a.m. with special opening ceremonies beginning at 10:15 a.m. featuring speakers, the presentation of the 2018 Walk Hero Award and a special warm up. At 11 a.m., the one mile Walk will start in front of the historic Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County and take participants through the beautiful rose garden before returning to Exposition Park. AcuraStem is encouraging participants to come by their booth to meet members of the team, and sign up for the ALS patient and family registry to participate in future research studies and receive company news and updates.
Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), also known as Lou Gehrig’s Disease, is a fatal, neurodegenerative illness that affects nerve cells in the brain and the spinal cord. The average life expectancy of a person with ALS is two to five years from diagnosis. As the disease progresses, people with ALS lose the ability to walk, move, speak, swallow and, eventually, to breathe — all while the mind and senses continue to function. Military veterans are diagnosed with ALS nearly twice as often as the general population. Currently, there is no known cure.
AcuraStem, Inc. is a fast-growing biotech company that was formed in 2016 to create an innovative precision medicine platform, iNeuroRX®, which leverages patient stem cells and advanced machine learning technology to discover drugs for neurodegenerative diseases. The platform has revealed a novel ALS target discovered from the laboratory of co-founder Dr. Justin Ichida at USC. Working with leaders in the pharmaceutical industry like co-founders Dr. Paul August and Dr. Qing Liu, AcuraStem is rapidly advancing a drug candidate to treat ALS patients. AcuraStem, Inc. leadership consists of an exceptional team of PhDs, professors, tech entrepreneurs, and successful drug company veterans employing the latest scientific breakthroughs to first address one of the most challenging, but tractable diseases, ALS.
BioConvergence Media Lab
Director of Communications, AcuraStem