RESEARCH | Light the Path Forward Grant

February 16, 2021 – The Sumaira Foundation for NMO (TSF) is pleased to announce the Light the Way Forward Grant made possible by a research grant from Viela Bio

Viela Bio is establishing the Light the Way Forward Grant to fuel research aimed to improve understanding of neuromyelitis optica spectrum disorder (NMOSD) and positively impact those living with NMOSD. This grant represents a continuation of the partnership between TSF and Viela Bio, building upon this important collaboration between industry and the rare disease advocacy community. The Light the Way Forward Grant marks the first ever medical grant given by Viela Bio and the first of its kind awarded to TSF. 

TSF is a 501(c)(3) organization founded by an NMO patient and is dedicated to generating global awareness of neuromyelitis optica spectrum disorder (NMOSD), fundraising to help find a cure, and creating a community of support for patients and their caregivers. 

I am thrilled to further our relationship with Viela Bio through the Light the Way Forward Grant,” shares TSF’s founder and executive director, Sumaira Ahmed, “This is an important milestone for The Sumaira Foundation, Viela Bio and the greater NMOSD community as we work together to support advancements in NMOSD research.” 

The Sumaira Foundation has a proven impact within the NMOSD community, and we are honored to continue our partnership through this grant,” states Dr. Quinn Dinh, M.D., Vice President, Medical Affairs at Viela Bio. “It is our hope that the Light the Way Forward Grant will build upon TSF’s awareness and advocacy progress to advance medical understanding of NMOSD.”  Viela Bio received approval for Uplizna® (inebilizumab-cdon) for the treatment of NMOSD in June 2020. 

To learn more about TSF’s Funded Research please see here.

We’d like to extend our heartiest congratulations to our 2021 recipients of the $25,000 Light the Way Forward Grant – Dr. Eyal Lotan (PI), Dr. Itay Lotan (Co-I), and Dr. Ilya Kister (Co-I) – who will use the grant at NYU Langone Health to kickstart their project, Volumetric Analysis in MOG-AD, NMOSD, and MS that will be focused on analyzing the different patterns of central nervous system atrophy in MOGAD, NMOSD and MS patients.