ALS treatment is first of its kind to be approved in more than 2 - - The News for South Mississippi

ALS treatment is first of its kind to be approved in more than 20 years

Source: Radicava Source: Radicava
Source: WLBT Source: WLBT
JACKSON, MS (Mississippi News Now) -

The FDA has approved the first new drug for ALS treatment in 22 years.

ALS is a disease that attacks the nerves which control muscle movement.

"The doctors say you have two to five years and make the most of your time," explained Summer Prestridge.

Summer Prestridge was diagnosed with ALS in November of 2015. She's been working on her bucket list, all while advocating for more research and funding.

"I guess it honestly wouldn't happen in my lifetime either," she admitted. "I've never thought that it would benefit me. It was always 'I do these things to help others in the future'."

She was at treatment when the news came down Friday that the FDA had approved ALS drug Radicava.

"It gives us hope that this is just the beginning," added Prestridge.

Still, she's cautiously optimistic because they don't know what the costs will be or if insurance will cover it.

Researcher Dr. Ray Grill pointed out that the drug is the first in 22 years.

"Before last Friday, there was one FDA approved treatment, now there's two," said Grill who serves on the ALS Association Louisiana-Mississippi chapter Board of Directors.

He's hoping that a better understanding of the disease will spur more breakthroughs.

"Where are we going to be in five years?" asked Grill. "Hopefully, having a conversation where we're looking at additional options for treatment and maybe reversals. And that's the big goal. But you've got to keep hope alive long enough for that to happen."

The newly approved drug may be available as early as August.

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