FILE – Walk for ALS. (Black Press Media file photo)

FILE – Walk for ALS. (Black Press Media file photo)

ALS Awareness Month: Society campaigns to make Canada No. 1 for clinical trials

First the Bucket Challenge, now raising a hand to support Canadian clinical trials for ALS

The ALS Society of Canada has kicked off June’s awareness month by asking Canadians to help make the country a primary destination for ALS clinical trials as researchers strive to find a cure.

For many of 3,000 Canadians living with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, or ALS, clinical trials in Canada mean hope and the chance to participate in potentially cutting-edge therapies, the society said Wednesday (June 1).

Currently, there are two disease-modifying therapies available in Canada and at least two more going through Health Canada’s approval and reimbursement process.

But more progress is needed to ensure equitable, affordable and timely access to available treatment options for all Canadians living with ALS, starting with hosting more clinical trials, ALS Canada says.

The organization is asking Canadians who agree and support timely, equitable access to the most promising experimental and proven ALS treatments available to sign their campaign online.

In B.C., the ALS Society of BC is working towards a designated centre at the University of BC – which they’re fundraising $20 million for through Project Hope.

“People with ALS do not have the luxury of time,” executive director Wendy Toyer said. “Seeing what people are willing to do to support ALS patients lifts them up and provides them hope and that’s what we need to do.”

Many events are happening across Canada this month in support of further research for the disease. The ALS Society of BC has arranged for the B.C. Legislature and other well-known buildings to turn purple through June.

Move To Cure ALS events are also set to run across the province, where participants will walk, ride or roll in support of further ALS research.

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