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Hospital for Special Care Chosen to Participate in the HEALEY ALS Platform Trial

October 20, 2020

Hospital for Special Care (HFSC), a nationally-recognized leader in care for individuals with Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS), has been selected as one of 54 sites across the United States chosen to participate in the HEALEY ALS Platform Trial, an initiative led by the Sean M. Healey & AMG Center for ALS at Mass General. HFSC is the only site in Connecticut chosen to participate in the trial. This groundbreaking study, the first of its kind for ALS, will allow for more data, faster results and lower chance of placebo.

HFSC’s Charles H. Kaman Foundation Neuromuscular Center is the largest and most comprehensive neuromuscular care center in Connecticut. The ALS Center, certified as a Center of Excellence, treats about 90 percent of patients diagnosed with ALS in the state and is completing multiple active research projects. “The Healey ALS Platform Trial truly opens a new era in research and for hope for patients with ALS,” said Dr. Kevin Felice, DO, FAAN, Chief of the Department of Neuromuscular Medicine.  “ALS progresses very quickly for most patients. As a selected site for the Healey Platform Trial, we have a unique opportunity to empower patients to participate in research that has the potential to change the course of their disease.”

A “platform trial” is a clinical trial in which multiple treatments are evaluated simultaneously. New treatments are added to the platform as they become available, thereby decreasing the gap in time from identification of an exciting therapy to testing. This model, already proven successful in the cancer field, will greatly accelerate therapy development of effective and breakthrough treatments for people with ALS by allowing investigators to test more drugs, increase patient access to trials, and reduce the cost by quickly and efficiently evaluating the effectiveness of multiple therapies (more info). The HEALEY ALS Platform Trial is perpetual and will add clinical sites, participants and experimental treatments until a cure for ALS is discovered.

Honora Dalamagas, Research Manager, Study Coordinator and Nurse for Research Trials at HFSC, notes, “We are currently the top enrollers in the country and we have screened 15 patients (for eligibility) as of the beginning of October. The study has reached a milestone, screening over 100 patients nationally which have been screened as of October.”

The HEALEY Platform Trial is currently open for enrollment at Hospital for Special Care. Individuals who are interested in participating in the trial can contact Natalie Schmitt at 860-827-1958 x3730.

For more information on open trial sites, click here. Watch this video to learn more about the advantages of this trial design.


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