Sending Office: Honorable Joe Courtney
Sent By:
Maria.Costigan@mail.house.gov

Support the ALS Research Program FY19 

Deadline: TODAY! March 14th COB

Contact: maria.costigan@mail.house.gov 

Dear Colleague:

Please join us in the fight against Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS), also known as Lou Gehrig’s Disease, by supporting funding in the Fiscal Year (FY) 2019 Department of Defense Appropriations Act for the ALS Research Program (ALSRP). This programmatic
request will support the collection of critical data that can help scientists learn the causes of ALS and how it can be treated or even prevented.

Studies funded by the DOD, Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), and National Institutes of Health (NIH) have found that our military warfighters and veterans are approximately twice as likely as the public to die from ALS. Researchers do not know why military
veterans are at greater risk, nor is there an effective treatment available that could save or extend their lives. In fact, people with ALS will succumb to this fatal neurodegenerative disease in an average of just two to five years following diagnosis.

We are writing today to ask for your help to find a treatment for this horrific disease by supporting continued funding for the ALS Research Program (ALSRP) at the DOD. The ALSRP is explicitly designed to find a treatment for ALS by promoting translational
research, filling a gap in the drug development pipeline in which limited funding has prevented promising treatments from reaching patients. 

Funding for the ALSRP will support the best science because the program is explicitly designed to promote new ideas that are in the early stages of development with the potential to yield highly impactful data and new avenues of investigation. This high-risk/high-reward
program fills the gap in the current drug development pipeline where limited funding has prevented promising treatments from reaching people living with ALS. To date, the ALSRP has generated four potential treatments for ALS.

Congress has recognized the critical role the ALSRP plays in advancing the search for a treatment by appropriating funding for the program since FY2007, including $10 million in FY2018. Funding for FY2019 is needed to take advantage of these opportunities
and discover a treatment that can save or extend the lives of our veterans and those on active duty who risk their own lives every day in defense of this country.

Please join us in signing the attached letter to the Appropriations Committee Subcommittee on Defense. Help us fight for our heroes in the military just as they have fought for us. If you would like to sign the letter or have further questions, please contact
Lindsay Manson in Rep. Reichert’s office or Maria Costigan in Rep. Courtney’s Office.

 

Sincerely,

Rep. Dave Reichert             Rep. Joe Courtney                Rep. Peter King                 Rep. Seth Moulton


 

LETTER TEXT: 

 Dear Chairman Frelinghuysen and Ranking Member Visclosky:

We are writing to thank you for your continued strong support of the ALS Research Program (ALSRP) within the Congressionally Directed Medical Research Programs (CDMRP) at the Department of Defense (DOD). Your support is helping to advance the search for
a treatment for ALS, also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease. We respectfully request that you provide robust funding for the ALSRP in the Fiscal Year (FY) 2019 Department of Defense Appropriations Act.

As you know, ALS is a fatal neurodegenerative disease that destroys a person’s ability to control muscle movement. As the disease progresses, people become trapped inside a body they no longer can control, aware of the world around them, but powerless to
do anything about it. The average life expectancy for a person with ALS is just two to five years after diagnosis. There is no effective treatment for the disease, no known cause, and no cure.

We believe that it is important for the DOD to identify and research all diseases that may be related to service in the U.S. military, including ALS. According to numerous studies, including those funded by the DOD, VA and NIH, military veterans are approximately
twice as likely to die from ALS as those who have not served in the military.

The ALSRP is an innovative program designed to translate basic science into new treatments for ALS by funding innovative projects that fill the gaps in and compliment NIH funded research. In fact, the ALSRP is a model of collaboration as researchers from
the DOD, VA, NIH and the private sector partner together to avoid duplication and help provide strategic direction to the government’s fight against ALS. The program also supports the best science, funding research in the private sector on a peer-reviewed,
competitive grant basis. To date, the ALSRP has generated four potential treatments for ALS and additional research is ongoing.

Please support robust funding for the ALSRP in the Fiscal Year (FY) 2019 Department of Defense Appropriations Act. By strongly funding the ALSRP, the DOD will be able to continue taking advantage of vital research opportunities that move us closer to finding
a treatment for this horrific disease.

Sincerely,

Related Legislative Issues

Selected legislative information: Armed Services, HealthCare, Veterans

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