RICHMOND, Va., March 21, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- FightSMA, an all-volunteer, parent-led nonprofit observing its 25th year in 2016, announced this week that the Cambridge-based global biotechnology company Biogen will be the Presenting Sponsor of the organization's Annual Research Conference.
The mission of FightSMA is to strategically accelerate research for a treatment for spinal muscular atrophy (SMA), the number-one inherited cause of infant death. Biogen specializes in the discovery, development, and delivery of therapies for people with neurological, autoimmune and rare diseases and is a leader in spinal muscular atrophy research.
"We are thrilled to have Biogen, an industry leader with a commitment to the defeat of SMA, as our Presenting Sponsor," said FightSMA Co-Founder Martha Slay.
"Working to find an effective treatment for SMA is my passion and the mission of our team at Biogen and our collaborators at Ionis Pharmaceuticals," said Wildon Farwell, M.D., senior director, clinical development at Biogen. "It's an honor to be part of FightSMA's annual research conference and come together with other researchers and experts with common goals to share insights and learnings."
"FightSMA's annual research meeting is an extraordinary opportunity for the best and the brightest in the SMA research community to come together for candid, open discussions," said FightSMA Research Director Dr. Chris Lorson of the University of Missouri. "The conference provides an exciting forum not just for sharing data, but also for charting the paths ahead.
"We are very grateful for Biogen's role in helping to make this meeting possible."
FightSMA is an all-volunteer nonprofit dedicated to finding a treatment for spinal muscular atrophy (SMA), the leading genetic cause of infant death. The group has awarded research grants at 45 universities and research institutions in the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, France, and Italy. Celebrating its 25th year in 2016, FightSMA was an early funder of the hunt for the SMA gene. FightSMA has funded high-throughput screening for SMN gene upregulation, SMA mouse model research, SMA gene therapy research, and other SMA projects. Its annual international research meeting has been held for 20 years. FightSMA played a leadership role in the successful passage of the National Pediatric Research Network Act in 2013.