CARLSBAD, Calif. – Ionis Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ: IONS) today announced that the company has launched a new grant program that provides funding to U.S.-based researchers whose work advances the understanding of transthyretin amyloidosis (ATTR), facilitates early diagnosis and enhances disease management of patients living with ATTR amyloidosis. The Janice Wiesman Young Investigator Grant Program is named in honor of Janice Wiesman, M.D. (1958-2020), a leading global expert on the neurological impact of amyloidosis. The program will provide two young investigators with an award of $50,000 annually per awardee for up to two years. It is designed to enable young investigators, including residents, fellows and junior faculty, to gain quality research experience in ATTR amyloidosis.
ATTR amyloidosis is a rare, progressive and fatal disease that occurs when there is a buildup of abnormal (misfolded) transthyretin protein in the body’s tissues and/or organs. Most commonly it affects the peripheral nerves, heart, intestinal tract, eyes and kidneys. The progressive accumulation of amyloid deposits in the nerves leads to sensory, motor and autonomic dysfunction often having debilitating effects on multiple aspects of a patient’s life.
“We are proud to establish the Janice Wiesman Young Investigator Grant program, an important initiative to help increase our understanding of transthyretin amyloidosis and, ultimately, to better serve patients and families living with this devastating rare disease,” said Brett P. Monia, Ph.D., Ionis’ chief executive officer. “We are also honored to commemorate the life and work of Dr. Wiesman, who I had the pleasure of working with and who over the years demonstrated a remarkable commitment to advancement of the field. Her contributions to the amyloid community have left an indelible impact.”
“As Janice’s husband, I saw first-hand how much her work in the amyloid community meant to her, not only professionally, in her role as a neurologist with the Amyloidosis Center at Boston University, but personally, as she participated in countless patient support group meetings and got to know other specialists and individual patients over the years,” said Dr. Wiesman’s husband, John Mannion. “Having worked for so long when little could be offered to people with this very rare condition, she was thrilled by the new and effective treatments developed through the brilliant work of scientists and clinicians like the ones to be supported by the Young Investigator Grant. I know that she would be as pleased as her daughter Hannah and I, and would feel truly honored that it is named for her.”
Researchers at eligible academic or nonprofit institutions in the U.S. are encouraged to submit innovative research proposals in the areas of translational, clinical, or applied research related to ATTR. Details about the program including criteria and application instructions can be found at https://www.ionispharma.com/akcea/health-care-professionals/the-janice-wiesman-young-investigator-grant-program/. The deadline for applications is Friday, April 2, 2021.
March is Amyloidosis Awareness Month, an opportunity to drive attention to the symptoms, diagnosis and treatment of amyloidosis. During this month, patient organizations across the country and around the world will hold awareness-raising activities to bring attention to this debilitating, rare disease.
ABOUT IONIS PHARMACEUTICALS, INC.
For more than 30 years, Ionis has been the leader in RNA-targeted therapy, pioneering new markets and changing standards of care with its novel antisense technology. Ionis currently has three marketed medicines and a premier late-stage pipeline highlighted by industry-leading neurological and cardiometabolic franchises. Our scientific innovation began and continues with the knowledge that sick people depend on us, which fuels our vision of becoming one of the most successful biotechnology companies.
To learn more about Ionis visit www.ionispharma.com and follow us on Twitter @ionispharma.
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