Cytokinetics Launches 5th Annual Patient Advocacy Grant Program

Five $20K grants are being offered to improve patient outreach, engagement

Teresa Carvalho, MS avatar

by Teresa Carvalho, MS |

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Cytokinetics has launched its fifth annual Communications Grant Program to support patient advocacy groups working with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) and other communities.

A total of five $20,000 grants will be given to winning organizations to help them improve their outreach and patient engagement. The deadline for applications is Nov. 11 and the winners will be announced in January.

“We initiated this program in 2018 with the goal of helping patient advocacy organizations advance often under-funded marketing and communications efforts,” Mary Pomerantz, Cytokinetics’ director of advocacy, said in a company press release.

The Cytokinetics Communications Fellowship Grants, now in its fifth year, seeks to help patient advocacy groups expand their communications, raise awareness, and improve community engagement. Grants can also be used to support programming or employees, depending on each organization’s needs.

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“Over the past five years, our grantees have reached new audiences, built awareness programs and amplified their organizations. We look forward to seeing the continued impact of this program,” Pomerantz said.

To qualify, organizations are required to have nonprofit status in the U.S. and support patient communities in ALS, heart failure, or hypertrophic cardiomyopathy.

To apply, organizations must fill out an application form that includes a short grant proposal (500 to 1,000 words) describing the potential impact of the funding, how it would be used, and the needs it would help address, as well as the proposed outcomes and how they would be measured.

The application form should be sent to [email protected]. An email confirming the application’s receipt will be sent to all applicants.

Eligible applications will be reviewed by a team at Cytokinetics that includes multiple experts in patient advocacy. The selection will be made based on predetermined criteria, such as the activities described and the need for additional support in the organization’s communications and outreach programs.

For 2022, grants were given to Mended Hearts, the Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy Association, I AM ALS, the Les Turner ALS Foundation and The ALS Association Northern Ohio Chapter.

At the end of the grant period, all recipient organizations must provide an outcomes report that will help Cytokinetics measure the impact of the funding.

Cytokinetics is a 20-year company that’s developing reldesemtiv, a fast skeletal muscle troponin activator, for treating ALS.

After promising findings from a Phase 2 trial wherein reldesemtiv slowed functional decline in people with fast progression rates, the company launched a larger Phase 3 clinical trial called COURAGE-ALS (NCT04944784) to assess the long-term effects of the investigational therapy.

The trial is enrolling up to 555 adult participants at sites in North America, Canada, Australia, and Europe. The participants will be randomly assigned to reldesemtiv or a placebo for six months and then all will receive the medication for another six months.

After completing the trial, participants will have the option to continue on reldesemtiv for 48 weeks in an open-label extension, totaling nearly two years of treatment for those originally assigned the medication. COURAGE-ALS is expected to be completed in March 2024.