If anyone has any connection with the world of social media, they will be aware of the viral craze going around … the #icebucketchallenge in aid of the Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis Association.

Not wanting to miss out on an opportunity to help a charity, staff at Oxford PharmaGenesis™ started wondering who would be willing to lead by example. Luckily for us, our Commercial Director, Richard White, had been nominated by his daughter so took the plunge first. Watch Richard’s video here:

To Jonathan Morton’s surprise, he was next on the list, which was very appropriate, as he has led our Rare and Orphan disease Practice for the past 2 years (not pre-planned at all!).

Watch Jonathan’s video here:

Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) affects 2.2 people per 100 000 per year, and is considered a rare disease. Also referred to as Lou Gehrig’s disease, it is a progressive neurodegenerative disorder that is characterized by muscle weakness, especially of the arms and legs, and difficulty speaking, swallowing and breathing. Patients in the later stages of disease may become totally paralysed. Although the cause of ALS/MND is not completely understood, recent years have brought a wealth of new scientific understanding regarding the physiology of this disease, and clinical trials are underway for several potential treatments.

During the period 29 July–28 August 2014, the ALS Association received US$98.2 million, compared with US$2.7 million during the same period in 2013. Oxford PharmaGenesis™ is pleased to add their contribution by making a company donation for each staff member who completes the challenge.