MONROVIA, Calif., November 7, 2019 — AcuraStem, a biotechnology company advancing neuroscience through patient-based drug discovery, was honored to once again partner with Team Nanci and the ALS Association Golden West Chapter in the fight against ALS as a sponsor of the 17th Annual Los Angeles County Walk to Defeat ALS® on Sunday, November 3, at Exposition Park in Los Angeles.
|AcuraStem team (pictured left to right): Monica Zhou, Stacee Mendonca, Paul August, Sam Alworth, Wen-Hsuan Chang and Justin Ichida
AcuraStem team members walked with Team Nanci and were on hand at the AcuraStem booth to talk with patients and families affected by Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS) about its mission and patient-based approach to treating neurodegenerative diseases.
“This event and seeing the courage and determination of patients and their families is fundamentally important to what we do in the lab,” said AcuraStem co-founder Justin Ichida, PhD. “It reminds us that it is not only our mission, but also our responsibility, to put in 110 percent to make sure that we’re doing the best possible job in finding a cure for this debilitating disease. The AcuraStem team is incredibly honored to fight ALS alongside Team Nanci.”
Team Nanci was founded by the friends and family of legendary 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. In 2018, Ryder was honored with the Walk Hero Award for her 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.
AcuraStem joined more than 60 members of Team Nanci in raising nearly $80,000 at the walk. Since joining the walk in 2014, Team Nanci has raised over $700,000 to combat ALS, a debilitating disease that can rob those affected of the ability to walk, talk, eat, move, and eventually breathe. Along with the AcuraStem team, Ryder was joined by prominent friends and supporters, including Courtney Cox, Adam Scott, who revealed for the first time that his mother is battling the disease, and long-time supporter Renée Zellweger.
“Most of you are here today because of your Nanci,” Ryder’s longtime business partner and friend Jay Schwartz addressed the crowd at the walk on Sunday. “But there are some people here with no immediate family or friends battling this disease, people that spend their days dedicated to improving the quality of life for those living with ALS…like our partners at AcuraStem. They may not have had a personal connection to someone with ALS, but they are taking action in support of our cause. They share in our urgency to defeat ALS.”
Through its research, using its proprietary iNeuroRx® platform, AcuraStem has discovered a number of highly compelling and novel therapeutic approaches for ALS and other neurodegenerative diseases. The company is currently bringing three of these approaches forward in preclinical development for ALS.
iNeuroRx® has enabled the development of a new series of small molecules called AS-1 that will enter clinical trials in 2021. AS-1 compounds are effective in sporadic and C9ORF72 patient motor neurons, and have proven highly effective in acute animal models. “The AS-1 program will deliver the best possible ALS therapeutic into the clinical pipeline with promise to be transformative for patients and to work broadly across patient subtypes,” Ichida said.
Proceeds from the LA Walk support The ALS Association Golden West Chapter’s mission to discover treatments and cures 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.
AcuraStem is a biotechnology company advancing neuroscience through patient-based drug discovery. AcuraStem’s first small molecule drug candidate, AS-1, for amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS or Lou Gehrig’s disease) will enter clinical trials in early 2021, after which the company will focus the patient-based strategy on developing treatments for additional neurodegenerative diseases. For more information, visit acurastem.com.