The ALS Association and the biopharmaceutical company Cytokinetics have announced the renewal and expansion of their partnership, established last year, to better treat amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) patients and educate the public about the disease.
The renewal includes the continuation of Cytokinetics’ Gold Level Sponsorship of the National Walks to Defeat ALS, and Platinum Level Sponsorship for initiatives led by The ALS Association Golden West Chapter.
“We are proud to continue and scale up our long-standing partnership with The ALS Association at both the national and local levels,” said Robert I. Blum, Cytokinetics’ president and chief executive officer, in a press release. “Joining forces with leading advocates, we believe we can increase education, awareness and fundraising to combat this devastating disease as we further our mission to develop a potential new medicine that may make a clinically meaningful impact.”
Cytokinetics’ pipeline of products includes investigational drugs for disorders affecting the cardiac muscle and skeletal muscles. Among these, the company is currently developing tirasemtiv for the treatment of ALS. This drug selectively activates the skeletal muscle troponin complex, increasing the sensitivity to calcium, a key regulator of muscle contraction. Such effect is designed to increase muscle force and power, delaying the onset and degree of muscle fatigue, benefits that have been observed in preclinical and early clinical trials. Currently, tirasemtiv is being evaluated in VITALITY-ALS (NCT02496767), an international Phase 3 clinical trial assessing the drug’s effect, versus placebo, in respiratory function and muscle strength of ALS patients. The study is currently recruiting participants, and enrollment and other information is available through its clinical trials.gov website.
Cytokinetics is also participating in several initiatives, conducted by the ALS Association, to accelerate the process of drug discovery and approval of new medicines.
Recently, Cytokinetics was honored with the “Commitment to a Cure” Award by The ALS Association Golden West Chapter. “Our partnership with Cytokinetics is anchored in our shared goal to help everyone affected by ALS,” said Barbara Newhouse, president and CEO of The ALS Association. “We are grateful for their tireless work in the search for an effective treatment for ALS and their commitment to our mission and vision.”