Erica Greenfelder 10/4/2022
The Ice Bucket Challenge was bigger than social media. It helped fund a new ALS drug, AMX0035.
Remember 2014? Scattered videos on your social media feeds showing celebrities, athletes, your family and friends outside waiting with an enthusiastic, albeit nervous smile for a freezing cold shock.
They all had the same message; a pledge to donate money to the ALS Association. Then a massive bucket of ice water was poured over each of them, drenching them as they tried to shake off the frigid cold. And whether it was before or after, every video included a challenge to another friend, “Donate. Get drenched. Spread the word.”
That’s how almost every ALS Ice Bucket Challenge went — and while it might have appeared to be just another social media trend, it was so much bigger, and made a huge difference in the world of ALS research.
According to The ALS Association, $2.2 million of the money raised from the Ice Bucket Challenge went into funding the development and trial of the new drug that the Food and Drug Administration recently approved for the treatment of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease.
“We thank the millions of people who donated, participated, and enabled us to invest in promising therapies like AMX0035 that will immediately help people living with ALS,” said Calaneet Balas, president and CEO of the ALS Association. “This is a victory for the entire ALS community, which came together to advocate for early approval” of the treatment.
AMX0035 is by no means a cure for the fatal neurodegenerative disease, but it does show promising results in slowing down the effects of ALS. Balas stated that funding from the 2014 Ice Bucket Challenge has “dramatically accelerated the fight against ALS.”
The new drug, AMX0035 approved recently by the FDA is not the only one benefiting from the challenge. More than $115 million were raised from the social media chain trend, and the ALS Association has reported they are funding 130 research projects in 12 different countries, as well as 40 potential treatments that are in development.
Over the past two years, the ALS community joined together to fight for access to AMX0035 for people living with ALS. Team ASI is proud to support the community as it surges forward in its efforts to provide care and treatment for individuals living with ALS.