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After surprise trial failure, ALS doctors brace for one less treatment option

For Rick Bedlack, director of the ALS clinic at Duke University, tough times come with the job. He and his team treat about 500 people with the rare, fatal disorder that rapidly erodes nerve cells. Friday, though, was particularly difficult.

“It’s no doubt one of the saddest days I’ve experienced in a long time,” Bedlack said.

Late last week, one of the few approved drugs for amyotrophic lateral sclerosis suffered a major defeat. A large clinical trial meant to confirm it works instead found it no better than placebo at slowing the disease. Now, Amylyx Pharmaceuticals, the biotechnology company behind the drug, may pull it from the market.

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