ALS biotech says ice bucket challenge proceeds will pay for a new clinical trial

A local nonprofit biotech firm dedicated to finding treatments for ALS says it will use half of the $3 million it has received in donations in the past month to bring the second drug in its 15-year history to clinical trials two years earlier than it would have otherwise.

The president and CEO of Cambridge-based ALS Therapy Development Institute, Steve Perrin, announced yesterday in a blog post that he intends to use $1.5 million of the money raised since the beginning of the “ice bucket challenge” for “the advancement of a promising treatment into clinical trial.” Contacted for this story, ALS TDI said it can’t give any details about the experimental drug nor the trial yet, but said this will be the second drug ever brought to human trials by the biotech, and the third trial it ever has undertaken (one of the trials just announced by ALS TDI is aimed at gathering information about patients, but not testing a specific drug).

“Previously, we had been waiting to move forward due to the lack of necesary funds available,” Perrin wrote in the blog. “I thought it would take two more years before we could invest this much into this exciting program. The ice bucket challenge changed that reality in a big way.”

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