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2014 "Commitment to a Cure" Essey Award Winners "Newsreel"

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Published on Jun 19, 2014

The Essey Awards are the Golden West Chapter's highest honor, named for one it's founding members, Richard Essey. These awards are presented annually to esteemed members of the ALS community for their outstanding efforts in research, philanthropy and public awareness. Among this year's honorees, the Golden West Chapter presented the 2014 Commitment to a Cure Award to three scientists -- C. Frank Bennett, PhD, Isis Pharmaceuticals, Inc; Don W. Cleveland, PhD, Ludwig Institute for Cancer Research, University of California, San Diego (UCSD); and Richard Smith, MD, Center for Neurologic Study -- who have relentlessly pursued research which may lead to a treatment for people with ALS and related diseases. The team has collaborated over the last decade on an innovative idea, which was an elegantly simple approach to dealing with a very complicated problem. Their therapy, called antisense oligonucleotide therapy (ASO), aims to block the expression of mutant genes which have been found to cause the inherited forms of ALS. This therapy involves administering a small molecule that has the potential to interrupt the cascade of events that leads to the loss of muscle function which characterizes ALS. If this therapeutic approach slows or stops the progression of ALS, this will be a medical milestone. Our thanks to them and to Patrick McMinn for his efforts in creating this video.

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