CHICAGO - A new drug is now approved to treat ALS, and it was partially funded because of the Ice Bucket Challenge.
Dousing yourself or someone else in ice-cold water started on social media eight years ago. The ALS Association received $115 million in donations.
The nonprofit poured $2.2 million into a clinical trial for a new promising drug to treat the disease.
ALS, also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease, causes muscles to weaken and eventually impacts the ability to talk, swallow, move and even breathe.
Earlier this year, an FDA advisory panel voted not to approve the drug. But on Thursday, the full FDA gave the new oral medication the green light.
The drug works as a stand-alone therapy or when added to other treatments. The outcome shows it can slow down the disease.
"This drug has shown that it's effective and safe, and those are two really important things. And what it's shown to do is slow the progression of ALS and extend life," said Calaneet Balas, President and CEO of the ALS Association.
Currently, ALS has no cure.
The next step includes making sure patients living with ALS have access to the new drug.