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Ionis establishes $25,000 scholarship to help ALS patients in greater San Diego area participate in physical and mental wellness programs

April 8, 2020 at 7:05 AM EDT
- A full range of therapy sessions are available via online video to support ALS patients during the COVID-19 pandemic

CARLSBAD, Calif., April 8, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- Ionis Pharmaceuticals, Inc., the leader in RNA-targeted therapeutics, today announced that it has established a $25,000 scholarship to help ALS patients in the greater San Diego area participate in a range of physical and mental wellness programs that offer an integrative approach for overcoming the challenges of disability. The Ionis Hope Scholarship will enable ALS patients to participate in group classes, massage therapy, meditation and functional movement therapy, offered by Adapt Functional Movement Center, located in Carlsbad, Calif. During the COVID-19 pandemic, Adapt is offering its full range of therapy for patients and their caregivers via live, individualized online video sessions.

ALS, also known as Lou Gehrig's disease, is a rare, fatal neurodegenerative disease that affects 30,000 Americans and a similar number of people in the European Union. About every 90 minutes someone is diagnosed with the disease and someone dies from it. Ionis' robust pipeline includes three drugs targeting forms of the disease. Tofersen, which targets the cause of a genetic form of ALS (superoxide dismutase 1 or SOD1), is currently in a Phase 3 clinical study in SOD1 ALS patients. IONIS-C9Rx, which targets the cause of a different genetic form of ALS, C9ORF72 (the leading known genetic cause of ALS worldwide) is in a Phase 2 clinical study in patients with C9ORF72 ALS. ION541, designed to treat non-genetic forms ("sporadic") of ALS, is planned to begin clinical studies this year.  Additional medicines to treat other forms of ALS are expected to reach the Ionis clinical pipeline in the near future.

"We know that sick people depend on us. It's why we will never stop innovating to deliver breakthrough medicines that bring hope to patients with unmet needs," said Kristina Bowyer, Ionis' vice president of patient advocacy. "As members of the ALS community, we are honored to support patients and their families beyond the medicines that we develop, including through patient-centered programs such as the Ionis Hope Scholarship."

"It's incredibly important to empower people affected by ALS to live their lives to the fullest," said Steve Becvar, executive director for the ALS Association Greater San Diego Chapter. "The Ionis Hope Scholarship in support of ALS patients provides exactly that by partnering with the Adapt Functional Movement Center. Not only is Ionis a world leader in discovering effective treatments for ALS, they are leading the way to improve the lives of those living with and affected by ALS with this generous scholarship."

"We are extremely fortunate to be partnered with two great organizations to make an impact on people's lives both through front-line therapeutics as well as integrative health, wellness and lifestyle factors. It has always been our mission as an organization to provide the best in integrative recovery services to individuals who have chronic, life-altering conditions and to do so without requiring them to tap into their precious financial resources," said John Monteith, executive director and founder of Adapt. "This scholarship enables us to do just that."

To practice safe social distancing, Adapt is offering remote one-on-one sessions over Zoom for functional movement therapy and mental health programs. To make the remote physical therapy sessions effective, Adapt provides coaching to patient caregivers. Adapt also provides weekly group classes and meetups online.

About Ionis Pharmaceuticals, Inc.
As the leader in RNA-targeted drug discovery and development, Ionis has created an efficient, broadly applicable, drug discovery platform called antisense technology that can treat diseases where no other therapeutic approaches have proven effective. Our drug discovery platform has served as a springboard for actionable promise and realized hope for patients with unmet needs. We created the first and only approved treatment for children and adults with spinal muscular atrophy as well as the world's first RNA-targeted therapeutic approved for the treatment of polyneuropathy in adults with hereditary transthyretin amyloidosis. Our sights are set on all the patients we have yet to reach with a pipeline of more than 40 novel medicines designed to potentially treat a broad range of disease, including neurological, cardiovascular, infectious, and pulmonary diseases.

To learn more about Ionis visit or follow us on twitter @ionispharma.

About ALS – The Association Greater San Diego Chapter
The ALS Association is the largest private funder of ALS research in the world. The Association funds global research collaborations, provides assistance for people with ALS and their families through its nationwide network of chapters and certified clinical care centers, and advocates for better public policies for people with ALS. The ALS Association builds hope and enhances quality of life while urgently searching for new treatments and a cure. For more information about The ALS Association, visit our website at

About Adapt Functional Movement Center
Founded in 2017 by John and Melanie Monteith, Adapt Functional Movement Center is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization providing a complete recovery and rehabilitation experience for individuals locally and internationally with movement disabilities due to neurodegenerative conditions and injuries. Since its beginning, Adapt supports over 100 unique members annually from over 10 different countries, including Australia, Germany, Mexico, Canada, UK, Ecuador, Solvakia, Netherlands, Egypt, New Zealand, Brazil, China, Lebanon, Chile. In its first two years, the Adapt Scholarship Fund distributed $250,000 worth of free services to members in need of its services. For more information on Adapt, please call (760) 688-7323 or visit Follow Adapt on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

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SOURCE Ionis Pharmaceuticals, Inc.

Media Contact, Roslyn Patterson, Vice President, Communications, 760-603-4679, or Investor Contact, D. Wade Walke, Ph.D., Vice President, Investor Relations, 760-603-2741