Austin, Texas – May 12, 2015 – Beyond Batten Disease Foundation has become a participating organization of The Research Acceleration and Innovation Network (TRAIN), a program of FasterCures, bringing the total number of venture philanthropies in TRAIN to 80.

FasterCures established TRAIN in 2005 to connect innovators in the disease research space with the vital resources, tools and relationships to catalyze development of new therapies and cures. Through the network, innovation in one disease area is translated to another in order to achieve treatment breakthroughs for all.

“We are pleased to expand our fight against juvenile Batten disease by becoming a partner in TRAIN to transform juvenile Batten disease research and accelerate our timeline to a cure,” said Danielle M. Kerkovich, PhD, BBDF Principal Scientist.

TRAIN organizations – such as the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation (CFF), Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Research and the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society – share a singular focus on, and a significant stake in, getting promising therapies from the laboratory bench to the patient’s bedside as rapidly as possible. CFF’s partnership with Vertex Pharmaceuticals, which produced the game-changing drug Kalydeco, has captured the public’s attention in recent years. Many other foundations are pursuing similar pathways to patient benefit, including CureDuchenne and Parent Project Muscular Dystrophy, which are also investing in companies with new therapeutics, and the Multiple Myeloma Research Foundation, which is paving the way to precision medicine for the patients it represents.
Collectively, TRAIN participants fund nearly $1 billion in medical research annually, and more than three-quarters of them are partnering with biopharmaceutical companies to advance their collective goal of getting new and better treatments to patients faster. While the organizations that participate in TRAIN are individually unique, they all demonstrate an ongoing commitment to accountability, collaboration, research effectiveness, resource building and patient centeredness.

“TRAIN’s patient-driven foundations are applying entrepreneurial philanthropy to de-risk translation and commercialization of research in their respective disease areas, and are responsible for some of the most transformative ideas in R&D,” said Kristin Schneeman, program director at FasterCures.

About Beyond Batten Disease Foundation
Beyond Batten Disease Foundation (BBDF) is the world’s largest organization dedicated to funding research for a treatment or cure for juvenile Batten disease. Batten disease is a rare, inherited pediatric neurological disorder, which begins with vision loss and seizures, followed by cognitive and motor impairment, and ultimately death by the late teens or 20s. Since its inception in 2008, BBDF has raised over $14.6 million for research through donations, co-funding, leveraging and partnerships. BBDF is spearheading a unique, cohesive strategy, incorporating independent scientific resources and collaboration with related organizations to drive research in Batten Disease. For more information, www.beyondbatten.org.

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