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February 2019 ‘Science Corner’

We’re excited to bring you our first edition of ‘Science Corner’, with Fernando Vieira, M.D. – the Chief Scientific Officer at ALS Therapy Development Institute. Stay tuned every month for exciting updates on ALS research!

By now, you’ve all heard about progress with AT-1501 – one of the most promising ALS treatments in development today that could slow down disease progression. This potential breakthrough also provides us an innovative model, a new roadmap to replicate and improve upon for future developments.

Because most ALS patients only live between 2-5 years after the disease’s onset, we are driven to uncover ways to provide people with ALS the gift of more time. That motivation influences our scientific strategy and our aggressive approach to discovery.

You may wonder ‘what else is the research team working on and excited about?’ Or even, ‘how does ALS TDI go about developing possible ALS treatments?’

The short answer: we test a lot of drugs. We have the most robust pipeline of potential ALS treatments in the world. And more than any other time, we now have the best shot at success. We are working day in and out to bring the next promising ALS treatments successfully through to clinical trials as quickly as possible.

One big reason we’re in this position today – is thanks to Augie and Lynne Nieto’s leadership, a couple you know and love who are a rare force, using their business savvy and unlimited passion, to drive our collective vision forward to end ALS. With Augie serving as our Chairman and Lynne a leader on our Board of Directors, we’re certain one day we’ll go from saying “Lou Gehrig’s disease” to “Augie’s Cure.”

Fact is, there will never be a single, magic silver bullet to treat and cure ALS. We know ALS is very complex, and each person’s ALS is unique, progressing and presenting differently. We will need multiple treatment options to support the ALS community and give every ALS patient a fighting chance against this disease. What’s more, it is likely our findings and treatment discoveries for ALS may also help fight other neurodegenerative diseases in the future.

In the coming months, I look forward to sharing more with you about our innovative precision medicine program, how we’re supporting people with ALS with real-time information to guide their personal ALS journey, and much more.

Because ALS is not incurable. It is only underfunded. This is a disease we can tackle, this is a problem we can solve.

That’s why your generous giving to Augie’s Quest is so critical. And it’s why we need you now more than ever. Together, ALS ultimately doesn’t stand a chance against us.

~ Fernando Vieira

Chief Scientific Officer, ALS Therapy Development Institute

Fernando G. Vieira, M.D. joined the ALS Therapy Development Institute in 2001. He is a research director focused on preclinical discovery and development of therapeutics for people with ALS. He works at the Institute because he believes it is the place where he can best work with others to help shape a world where an ALS diagnosis is no longer crippling. Fernando earned a bachelor’s degree in biological engineering from the University of Florida College of Engineering studied medicine at Harvard Medical School. He has dedicated his professional life to ending ALS. He has dedicated his personal life to being the best father he can be.



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