ALS Therapy Development Institute (ALS TDI)

Who They Are

ALS TDI is the world’s foremost drug discovery lab focused solely on amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). As a nonprofit biotech, they operate without regard to profit or politics.

Led by drug development experts and people with ALS, the Watertown, Massachusetts-based lab is funded by a global network of supporters unified to end ALS. Their mission is to discover and develop effective treatments for ALS.

ALS TDI was founded after Stephen Heywood was diagnosed with ALS at age 29. After finding no treatment options, his brother, Jamie Heywood, realized that a gap existed in the preclinical development of therapies for ALS. 

In 1999, Jamie founded the ALS Therapy Development Foundation, now ALS TDI, in the basement of his family’s Newton home in an effort to bridge this gap and bring effective treatments to people with ALS as quickly as possible.

Although Stephen is no longer with us, this same sense of hope, family, and innovation drives every decision made at ALS TDI today.

What They Do

With preclinical, clinical, and translational research all happening under one roof, ALS TDI rapidly pursues the best ideas for slowing, stopping, and ending ALS. Their cutting-edge approach has resulted in:

  • The rigorous screening of over 400 potential treatments for ALS — more than any other ALS research lab in the world.
  • The world’s first Precision Medicine Program, a partnership with people living with ALS, designed to speed up drug discovery and therapeutic development for ALS.
  • ALS TDI becoming the first nonprofit biotech in any disease to develop a potential treatment (AT-1501) and bring it from their own labs, through FDA review, and into clinical trial.
  • The improvement of worldwide standards in preclinical drug screening in models of ALS.

How We’re Helping

“ALS is not an incurable disease. It is an underfunded one.” —Dr. Stanley Appel, MD

Our donation will be used to support ALS TDI’s mission to end ALS. 87 cents of every dollar donated to the institute goes directly to finding treatments and cures, helping experts who are working around the clock to develop potential treatments for ALS.