Barrow Receives $2.5M to Launch ALS Expanded Access Program

Barrow Neurological Foundation announced it received a $2.5 million gift from Autumn and Bobby Henderson to launch the ALS Expanded Access Program in the Gregory W. Fulton ALS and Neuromuscular Disease Center at Barrow Neurological Institute. The new program will allow ALS patients to participate in clinical trials that test promising drugs for the disease.

“The Barrow ALS Expanded Access Program will shift the paradigm for ALS clinical trial participation dramatically,” said Shafeeq Ladha, M.D., Ira A. and Mary Lou Fulton Chair in Motor Neuron Diseases and Director of the Gregory W. Fulton ALS and Neuromuscular Disease Center at Barrow. “Our goal is that in the next several years, every Arizonan with ALS will have the opportunity to gain access to an experimental medication.”

ALS, also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease, robs patients of their ability to move, speak, maintain independence and have control over their health. One way patients can regain that sense of control is by participating in clinical trials. However, traditional clinical trials have rigid participation criteria and less than 50 percent of ALS patients qualify. The Barrow ALS Expanded Access Program is designed to give these patients access to experimental therapies, even when they do not qualify for traditional clinical trials.

The Gregory W. Fulton ALS and Neuromuscular Disease Center at Barrow was founded to improve care and research for ALS and other neuromuscular diseases. It is the national model for offering complete care within a single center while providing access to clinical trials and promising basic science research.

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About Karen Werner

Karen Werner is the editor of Frontdoors Media. She is a writer, editor and media consultant. She has interned at The New Yorker, worked at Parents Magazine, edited five books and founded several local magazines. Her work has appeared in Sunset, Mental Floss and the Saturday Evening Post.
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