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Accelerated Cure Project 2011 Annual Appeal Letter

December, 2011
Dear Friend and Supporter,

I am writing to ask you to accelerate research towards a cure for MS by making a donation before the end of 2011 to support two new initiatives at ACP that will provide biomedical scientists with significant new resources for their MS research efforts. We are seeking immediate support to create a Patient Portal for our new Repository database and to establish and manage a new MS Clinical Network.

Looking Forward to 2012 and Beyond
As the new Chief Executive Officer of ACP, I’m excited to let you know that we mark our 10-year anniversary with an intensified strategy for accelerating research and development efforts towards a cure for MS and related diseases, building effectively on our achievements to date.

In 2012, we will substantially increase the pace of enrollment into the Repository program with the goal of providing biomedical scientists, as soon as possible, with additional large sets of biosamples and data covering specific disease characteristics, long-term outcomes for patients treated with available drugs and the responses of patients to newly approved drugs. Our target is to double the number of participating patients and control subjects to 6,000 in 3 years in order to provide research groups with the biosample numbers necessary for well-designed research studies that address fundamental questions about the causes and mechanisms of MS and the responses of patients to a wide variety of treatments.

To enable us to provide biomedical scientists with maximum benefit from the growth of the Repository, we have been developing an enhanced database that can efficiently collect and integrate all data deposited from studies conducted by hundreds of research groups with our Repository biosamples. Our new database (dBNeuro) will be available for newly collected biosamples and data at the beginning of 2012 and we will incorporate all existing ACP datasets into dBNeuro during the first half of 2012.

Your Support could initiate Two Important Enhancements to Our 2012 Plans
Our efforts in the coming year to accelerate research towards a cure for MS will receive a great boost and researchers will gain access to key new assets for their research if we are able undertake the following two additional initiatives in 2012.

Create a patient portal for our new database
The content of our new database will be substantially enhanced if we can incorporate a Patient Portal, where each patient can directly enter information about her/his symptoms and treatment outcomes during periods between clinic visits. Patient-reported symptoms and outcomes are essential for enabling researchers to link symptoms to disease mechanisms and to discover methods for predicting which treatment strategy is likely to work best for each individual patient.

Enhance collaboration and drive unique research studies through a national MS Clinical Network
ACP has well-established individual collaborative relationships with 10 clinical sites across the United States. At our Annual Symposium in October of this year, we took the first steps to catalyze the creation of a formal MS Clinical Network that could provide many benefits to researchers through sharing of ideas and, particularly, by conducting large-scale clinical research studies that any one clinical site or research group could not undertake alone. A dedicated manager is needed to make this important resource a reality in 2012 for the MS research community.

ACP’s Mission and Achievements
No one knows what causes MS. There is no known cure, and even after decades of research and development, current treatments do little to slow the progression of the disease towards severe disability. Although some people with MS respond well to existing treatments that reduce the frequency of debilitating relapses, others experience intolerable side effects or no benefit at all, and we don’t know why. We urgently need to know what causes and contributes to MS or related diseases and rapidly to turn this knowledge into an effective...

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