Advertisement

Biden signs bill to expand funding for ALS

1/2
Biden signs bill to expand funding for ALS
U.S. President Joe Biden signs H.R. 3537, the Accelerating Access to Critical Therapies for ALS Act, in the Eisenhower Executive Office Building in Washington, D.C., on Thursday. Photo by Ken Cedeno/UPI | License Photo

Dec. 23 (UPI) -- President Joe Biden on Thursday signed a bill that aims to expand funding for amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, also known as Lou Gehrig's disease.

The Accelerating Access to Critical Therapies for ALS makes $100 million available per year between 2022 and 2026. The legislation is expected to build new pathways to funding early access to ALS investigational therapies.

Advertisement

The bill, led by Rep. Jeff Fortenberry, R-Neb., will accelerate ALS and neurodegenerative disease therapy development through a public-private partnership, and increase development of interventions for rare neurodegenerative diseases.

Biden said the bill "truly represents the spirit of the season."

RELATED Study: Exposure to formaldehyde at work raises risk for cognitive problems later

"Treatments are limited and the outcomes are still the same," he said of the disease since Baseball hall of fame Lou Gehrig's diagnosis in 1939.

"Today we're finally closer than ever to new treatments and hopefully ... God willing, close to a cure."

The bill passed the House and Senate this month with rare bipartisan unity.

RELATED Avid exercisers not at higher risk for ALS, study says

Fortenberry thanked Biden for signing the law, which he described as a "miraculous moment."

Advertisement

"ACT for ALS represents a monumental shift for those suffering from neurodegenerative conditions. The new law does two main things: it transforms the paradigm of disease research and regulation and creates a new pathway to promising new treatments. It drives the hope," Fortenberry said.

"Thank you to all those in the ALS community who courageously drove the hope that led to this moment. For decades, ALS patients have submitted themselves to tests and trials, therapies and placebos, in accordance with the rules of the current health care policy framework. But progress has been uneven, even debatable, with serious impediments to promising new treatments. Today, America advanced a new way."

RELATED ALS drug shows early promise against Alzheimer's disease

When in the House, the bill ultimately attracted 330 co-sponsors, essentially guaranteeing passage.

Latest Headlines

Advertisement
Advertisement

Follow Us

Advertisement