Pharma and Biotech CEOs, Academic Scientists, Funders and Patients to Meet on ALS Drug Development this Fall

7th Annual ALS TDI Leadership Summit takes place November 4th

CAMBRIDGE, Mass., June 6, 2011 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The ALS Therapy Development Institute (ALS TDI) announced today the agenda for its 7th annual Leadership Summit to be held in Cambridge on November 4th, 2011.  This year's Leadership Panel will feature: Christopher Austin, Ph.D., scientific director of the National Institutes of Health Center for Translational Therapeutics; Robert Blum, CEO of Cytokinetics, Inc.; Hon. Jim Greenwood, president and CEO of the Biotechnology Industry Organization; Lesa Mitchell, senior vice president at the Kauffman Foundation; George Scangos, Ph.D., CEO of Biogen Idec; Henri Termeer, Former CEO and chairman of the Board of the Genzyme Corporation. The panel will be moderated by Myles Axton, Ph.D., editor of Nature Genetics.

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"We desperately need effective treatments for diseases like ALS.  Today, many of our member biotechnology and pharmaceutical organizations are working toward accomplishing that goal.  Research institutes like ALS TDI can play an important role in helping to shape the future of medical research," said Greenwood.

Prior to the panel, scientific presentations will be given by Stan Appel, M.D., of the Methodist Neurological Institute; Merit Cudkowicz, M.D., of Mass General Hospital and Harvard Medical School; Jeffrey Rothstein, Ph.D., M.D. of the Johns Hopkins University, and Fernando G. Vieira, M.D. of ALS TDI.  A full agenda is available online at

"We are honored to be able to bring together this amazing group of scientists, thought-leaders and decision-makers.  It is our goal with this event to help identify obstacles in the drug development process and to have a frank discussion, together with the ALS community, on how we may be able to overcome them.  Anyone looking for a thoughtful discussion on the real challenges faced by researchers and patients alike should attend this event," said Steve Perrin, Ph.D. about the event that he hosts as CEO and CSO of ALS TDI.

The Institute will also announce this year's Leadership Award recipients during the Summit.  Each year, ALS TDI recognizes four individuals nominated by their peers for their efforts in raising awareness of and funding for research into an effective treatment for ALS.  Nomination information is available online at

The event takes place at the Hotel Marlowe in Cambridge, and begins at 9:00AM.  Lunch is provided, and a cocktail and networking reception will follow the panel and award ceremony.  ALS TDI offers this event free to the public and invites all ALS patients, families and researchers to attend. To register or learn more, visit

About ALS Therapy Development Institute

The mission of the ALS Therapy Development Institute (ALS TDI) is to develop effective therapeutics that slow or stop amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS, Lou Gehrig's disease), as soon as possible.  Founded by the family of an ALS patient in 1999 as the world's first "nonprofit biotech", ALS TDI is now internationally recognized as a leading medical research institution.  Its unique industrial-scale platform actively develops and tests dozens of potential therapeutics each year.  The Cambridge, Massachusetts, based research Institute collaborates worldwide with academia and industry to bridge the translational research gap which exists among many orphan diseases, such as ALS.  For more information about the Institute's current research pipeline and to take a virtual lab tour, please visit us online at

Media Contact: Robert A. Goldstein, ALS TDI, 617-441-7295, [email protected]

SOURCE ALS Therapy Development Institute