AcuraStem Inc., a biotech company based in Monrovia, has received a $3.7 million fast-track grant to develop a treatment for Lou Gehrig’s disease.

The precision medicine startup announced June 18 that it had received the research grant from the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke.

The grant will support the development of a novel small molecule compound, known as AS2015, to treat patients with a genetic form of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), or Lou Gehrig’s disease, in addition to frontotemporal dementia.

AcuraStem, founded in 2016, was co-founded by Dr. Justin Ichida, assistant professor of stem cell and regenerative medicine at the Keck School of Medicine of USC, where he oversees a research lab in his name.

Its precision platform, iNeuroRx, employs a patient’s stem cells in conjunction with advanced machine learning to discover drugs for neurodegenerative diseases.

AcuraStem was selected as a finalist this month in a 2018 Start-Up Stadium for potential biotech partners and investors at the BIO International Convention in Boston.

Health business reporter Dana Bartholomew can be reached at Follow him on Twitter @_DanaBart.

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