Accelerated Cure Project for Multiple Sclerosis Selected as a Finalist in 2013 New England Innovation Awards

Accelerated Cure Project for Multiple Sclerosis Selected as a Finalist in 2013 New England Innovation Awards

WALTHAM, Mass., Apr 10, 2013 (BUSINESS WIRE) -- Accelerated Cure Project for Multiple Sclerosis (ACP-MS) today announced that it has been named a finalist in the Smaller Business Association of New England (SBANE)'s 2013 New England Innovation Awards. ACP-MS was selected from 204 innovative organizations to compete in the final phase of this competition.

The New England Innovation Awards have been presented annually since 1986 to recognize organizations that have transformed their innovative ideas into a product or service that delivers proven value. Past winners include Staples, Ben & Jerry's, Genzyme, Nantucket Nectars, and iRobot.

ACP-MS, a national nonprofit organization, was selected for its innovative methods of accelerating advances toward a cure for MS. The organization's resources help remove the barriers preventing research progress and provide tools needed to innovate, collaborate, and cure this chronic and devastating disorder. ACP-MS's initiatives include the open-access ACP Repository, which houses thousands of biosamples and datasets and millions of data points deposited for the benefit of all researchers; the Multiple Sclerosis Discovery Forum, an interactive virtual community and information portal that connects and educates investigators who study MS and other demyelinating disorders; and the OPT-UP Program, a novel, collaborative research program which will generate the critical resources needed to optimize treatment of MS and understand progressive disability.

ACP-MS is also part of a cooperative alliance known as Orion Bionetworks, which was recently formed in an effort to unlock the power of shared data and predictive modeling to help transform the understanding of diseases such as MS and accelerate the search for cures.

"Being nominated for the SBANE 2013 Innovation Award is truly an honor for ACP-MS," said Robert McBurney, Chief Executive Officer of ACP-MS. "Curing a challenging disease like MS, with its multitude of causes and widely ranging effects, requires novel ideas and actions. At ACP-MS, we work every day to come up with innovative approaches that will someday bring about the end of this devastating disease."

Winners and finalists of the 2013 New England Innovation Awards will be honored at the "Evening of Innovation" Gala Dinner on May 8 at the Westin Hotel in Waltham, Mass.

About Multiple Sclerosis

MS 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 United States 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.

About Accelerated Cure Project for MS (ACP-MS)

ACP-MS is a nonprofit organization whose mission is to accelerate research efforts to improve the quality of life for people with multiple sclerosis (MS), to cure the disease and, ultimately, prevent it.

ACP-MS believes that research is the only way to greatly improve the outlook for people with MS. The organization promotes scientific collaboration and accelerates research by rapidly and cost-effectively providing researchers with data and biospecimens they need to explore novel research ideas that can lead to better care for people with MS. Its strategic initiatives include:

-- The OPT-UP Program: A large-scale, real-world treatment outcomes clinical study and collaborative research program to optimize treatment of MS and understand progressive disability;

-- The ACP Repository: A collection of highly characterized biosamples and data from over 3,000 subjects, available to any scientists conducting research that can positively impact people with MS; and,

-- The Multiple Sclerosis Discovery Forum: An online community connecting, educating and challenging researchers (www.msdiscovery.org).

The organization's innovative approach enables MS research to advance rapidly and catalyzes collaborative efforts toward a significant impact on this devastating disease. Its resources have supported 70 research studies worldwide and generated almost 300 million returned data points for collaborative data mining and disease modeling. To learn more about the focus, activities and impact of ACP-MS, please visit www.acceleratedcure.org.

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SOURCE: Accelerated Cure Project for Multiple Sclerosis