Fast Forward: Speeding Treatments to People with MS
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Get an update on Fast Forward from Dr. Timothy Coetzee, Executive Director of Fast Forward. Presentation took place Dec. 20, 2008.
Discovery research, which has received more than $600 million in funding from the National Multiple Sclerosis Society since 1947, continues to identify new opportunities to understand MS and to offer new treatments. However, the number of new MS therapies tested is limited and many potential drugs remain on the shelf due to the enormous costs — roughly $1 billion to move a drug from lab to approval by the FDA — and time required to translate research into clinical trials. In 2007, the National MS Society launched the cutting-edge venture Fast Forward, LLC as a strategic initiative to address the challenges in the drug development process, and to speed the creation of new MS therapies. It seeks connec university-based research with private-sector drug development by providing funding to small biotechnology and pharmaceutical companies to develop innovative new MS therapies.
Dr. Tim Coetzee, Executive Director of Fast Forward. Dr. Coetzee is responsible for the Society’s strategic funding of biotechnology and pharmaceutical companies as well as partnerships with the financial and business communities. Dr. Coetzee received his PhD in molecular biology from Albany Medical College and has since been involved in multiple sclerosis research. Prior to joining the Society in 2000, Dr. Coetzee served on the faculty of the Department of Neuroscience at the University of Connecticut School of Medicine.