Houston Methodist receives $100,000 from Energy Transfer to support ALS research

1 Minute Read

Houston Methodist receives $100,000 from Energy Transfer to support ALS research

HOUSTON (April 4, 2023) – Houston Methodist recently received a $100,000 philanthropic gift from Dallas-based Energy Transfer to fund clinical research for ALS patients. ALS, or amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, is a progressive neurodegenerative disease that affects nerve cells in the brain and spinal cord. Houston Methodist has numerous clinical trials underway to slow or halt the progression of this degenerative disease.

Energy Transfer has a long-standing history of supporting causes in the communities they serve.

“ALS not only affects thousands of Americans, but it has also deeply affected our company,” said Chris Curia, executive vice president and chief human resources officer at Energy Transfer. “Our support of Houston Methodist’s ALS research is very personal for our employees, executive team and board members, so being able to donate funds to help further the promising work being done by Houston Methodist was an honor for us.”

The Energy Transfer gift will help Houston Methodist’s ongoing efforts to evaluate the safety and effectiveness of a combination therapy of IL-2 and Abatacept in patients with ALS. Neurologists Stanley H. Appel, M.D. and Jason Thonhoff, M.D., Ph.D. recently introduced this therapy to the ALS field and presented data from a phase 1 study at the Muscular Dystrophy Association (MDA) conference in Dallas; publication is pending. Houston Methodist’s Drs. Appel and Thonhoff have championed leading ALS research, including studies on how regulatory T cells (Tregs) from patients’ own bodies can be removed, repaired and replaced to slow the progression of ALS.

“Each clinical study is another step in helping us find safer, more effective ways to slow this fatal disease,” said Thonhoff. “This generous support from Energy Transfer helps boost our research and keep pushing it forward.”

It’s estimated that every 90 minutes someone is diagnosed with ALS according to the ALS Association, and currently there is no cure. Houston Methodist has the first multidisciplinary care clinic for patients with ALS, also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease, and is actively involved in both clinical and basic science research to help patients with ALS cope with their disease.

For more information about Houston Methodist and the research efforts being done to support people living with ALS, click here.


Back to top