For Immediate Release
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Feinstein Kean Healthcare
Accelerated Cure Project for Multiple Sclerosis and Fast Forward, LLC Announce Collaboration to Speed Development of Treatments for MS
Nonprofits agree to work together to expand research infrastructure and encourage greater collaboration and data sharing in the MS research community
(New York, NY and Waltham, MA September 30, 2009) -- The Accelerated Cure Project for Multiple Sclerosis, a national nonprofit organization, and Fast Forward, LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of the National Multiple Sclerosis Society, today announced a collaboration to support the Accelerated Cure Project.s Tissue Repository program.
The Accelerated Cure Project has created a large-scale collection of biological samples and data from people with MS, selected other demyelinating diseases, and unaffected controls. These samples and data are available to academic and industry researchers engaged in a variety of activities including studying the causes of MS; evaluating the genetic components of MS; and developing diagnostic tests and related tools for monitoring MS disease activity. A distinct aspect of this resource is its creation of a database to house the scientific/clinical data generated by studies which use samples from the repository.
The collaboration with the Accelerated Cure Project is a part of Fast Forward's long-term strategy of facilitating creation of resources that can be used by emerging biotechnology companies. "We are pleased to partner with the Accelerated Cure Project to advance the development of new treatments for MS," said Dr. Timothy Coetzee, President of Fast Forward. "There is an increased demand for high quality samples that companies can use to discern and validate biomarkers which will help develop and corroborate diagnostic and prognostic tests for MS." Adds Dr. Coetzee, "The Accelerated Cure Project.s collection is a vital resource for this critical research."
"Fast Forward's support provides important validation for continued development and expansion of the tissue repository" said Ms. Carolyn Cronin, President and CEO of the Accelerated Cure Project. "Building on the work of our founder, Art Mellor, we are pleased to form this collaboration with Fast Forward to accelerate the pace of MS research."
About Fast Forward, LLC
Fast Forward, LLC is a nonprofit organization established by the National Multiple Sclerosis Society in order to accelerate the development of treatments for MS. Fast Forward will accomplish its mission by connecting university-based MS research with private-sector drug development and by funding small biotechnology/pharmaceutical companies to develop innovative new MS therapies and repurpose FDA-approved drugs as new treatments for MS. For more information visit: www.fastforward.org
About Accelerated Cure Project
Accelerated Cure Project for MS (ACP) is a nonprofit organization whose mission is to accelerate efforts toward a cure for multiple sclerosis (MS) by rapidly advancing research that determines its causes and mechanisms. We provide biomedical researchers with resources that catalyze open scientific collaboration and enable them to explore their novel research ideas rapidly and cost-efficiently. ACP’s strategic initiatives include the Multiple Sclerosis Discovery Forum and the ACP Repository, a large-scale collection of highly-characterized biosamples available to scientists at any organization conducting research that contributes to our mission. All results generated through analysis of Repository samples and data are contributed back to the ACP Repository Database, resulting in an increasingly valuable and comprehensive information resource that can be analyzed to reveal new insights about MS. To date, ACP has enrolled almost 3,000 participants into the Repository through a network of 10 MS clinical centers across the United States. The samples provided by people with MS and related disorders have supported more than 60 research studies worldwide and generated more than 150 million returned data points.
About Multiple Sclerosis
Multiple Sclerosis is a chronic demyelinating disorder of the central nervous system that often results in severe disability including the inability to walk, blindness, cognitive dysfunction, extreme fatigue, and other serious symptoms. MS affects more than 400,000 people in the US and two million individuals worldwide. The disorder occurs twice as often in women as in men. What causes MS is undetermined and no cure has yet been developed.