Boston - The Sean M. Healey & AMG Center for ALS at Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) and Never Surrender, Inc are partnering to establish two new Expanded Access Protocol (EAP) programs in Minnesota. The site at the University of Minnesota is under the direction of David Walk, MD, F AAN, and Amber Erickson, MD, oversees the new EAP site at Essentia Health. Both sites will be supported by the Healey & AMG Center at MGH.

The establishment of these sites will allow for access to experimental treatments for people living with ALS in the state of Minnesota and surrounding areas, as well as the collection of safety and biomarker data.

“We are excited to be able to bring this EAP program to patients in our community who do not qualify for clinical trials” said Dr. Walk. “We’re thankful for the support of Never Surrender for making this possible.”

Expanded Access, also referred to as Compassionate Use, is a pathway for patients with a serious and life-threatening disease to access an investigational product that is not yet approved by the FDA. EAP programs bring new options to patients to be part of research by coordinating access to experimental drugs and enabling the collection of safety and biomarker data in a population not studied in randomized trials. This data can help inform the next trial or help support market approval for a broader group of ALS patients than those typically included in double-blind clinical trials.

“EAP programs are essential in the fight against ALS” says Dr. Erickson. “By establishing two new programs in Minnesota, we’re certain we will be able to expand not only the treatment of our patients but our knowledge in researching this disease.”

“We are thrilled to launch these two new sites at the University of Minnesota and Essentia Health, and are grateful to Never Surrender for this gift,” says Sabrina Paganoni, MD, PhD, Co-Director of the Neurological Clinical Research Institute at the Healey & AMG Center. “With help from foundations like Never Surrender, we are able to offer access to experimental therapies to people living with ALS in Minnesota and contribute to progress in ALS research.”

Since its launch in 2018, the Healey & AMG EAP program has expanded across a nationwide network of clinical researchers to reach more individuals with ALS.  Never Surrender, Inc commitment of $864,000 will allow the University of Minnesota and Essentia Health’s EAP program to offer EAP to their patients. The program is anticipated to begin accepting participants in the spring and early summer of 2024.

Never Surrender raises money through charitable activities for the purposes of raising money to fight ALS and help people with ALS and their families in Minnesota, North Dakota, South Dakota and Superior, Wisconsin.