Not all social media trends are useless. Remember the Ice Bucket Challenge from 2014 when people willingly poured iced water over their heads to raise awareness and money for ALS research?
Well, just this week, the ALS Association shared that $2.2 million of funds raised from the challenge went into funding the development and trial of a new FDA-approved drug for the treatment of ALS, also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease.
The new drug, Relyvrio, is an experimental drug combination from Amylyx Pharmaceuticals and is the first ALS drug to win approval in five years.
The approved drug is not a cure for the neurodegenerative disease, but it does aid in slowing down the effects. President and CEO of the ALS Association, Calaneet Balas, said funding from the challenge has “dramatically accelerated the fight against ALS.”
More than $115 million was raised from the challenge, and the ALS Association has shared that this money is helping to fund 130 research projects in 12 countries and 40 potential treatments in current development.
While the new drug is already stirring controversy over its listed price of $158,000 a year, this is still a big win for the community in the race to find a cure. ALS affects as many as 30,000 US citizens, with 5,000 new cases diagnosed each year.