Disease Areas

Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis

Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS)

ALS is a progressive neurodegenerative disease that robs people of the ability to move and leads them to lose their ability to speak — and eventually breathe.1

Our Approach

For over a decade, Biogen has been committed to advancing ALS research to provide a deeper understanding of all forms of this devastating disease, which currently impacts an estimated 3,000 Canadians2 and 352,000 people worldwide.3,4*

Innovative Research

By leveraging established scientific capabilities and embarking on strong R&D collaborations, we’re determined to follow the science to advance a comprehensive, multi-modality ALS portfolio that fosters our long-term leadership in this space.


Mechanism of Disease: ALS

Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is a fatal, adult-onset neurodegenerative disorder.5 Symptoms include progressive muscle weakness, paralysis and respiratory complications.6 Learn more about how the disease progresses in adults in this short video.

Clinical Trials

Biogen conducts clinical trials in ALS and other disease areas related to the investigational therapies in our pipeline to evaluate the efficacy and safety of potential medicines.

Facts and Figures

~ 3,000

Canadians2 and 352,000 people worldwide3,4* are impacted by ALS.




3–5 yrs

Average life expectancy from time of symptom onset.7





ALS cases caused by mutations in the SOD1 gene; life expectancy in SOD1-ALS varies widely, with some patients surviving less than a year.8


  1. The ALS Association - PMC (nih.gov), Rare Dis. 2013; 1: e24910., Published online 2013 May 10. doi: 10.4161/rdis.24910
  2. About ALS – ALS Society of Canada. Accessed April 5, 2023.
  3. Xu 2020. Reference: Xu L, Liu T, Liu L, Yao X, Chen L, Fan D, Zhan S, Wang S. Global variation in prevalence and incidence of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis: a systematic review and meta-analysis. J Neurol. 2020 Apr;267(4):944-953
  4. United Nations, World population prospects: The 2010 revision (2022). New York.
    * calculated based on prevalence estimates and applied to the global population
  5. Motor Neuron Disease - ScienceDirect, Reference Module in Biomedical Sciences, Motor Neuron Disease, T. Siddique, H.X. Deng, S. Ajroud-Driss, Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine, Chicago, IL, USA, Available online 28 November 2014.
  6. National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke. Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS). Available at: https://www.ninds.nih.gov/health-information/disorders/amyotrophic-lateral-sclerosis-als. Accessed: April 2023.
  7. Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis Presenting as Bilateral Diaphragm Paralysis (chestnet.org), October 2011, Vol 140, No. 4_MeetingAbstracts, Case Reports: Sunday, October 23, 2011 | October 2011, Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis Presenting as Bilateral Diaphragm Paralysis, Zeeshan Khan, DO; Abdulilah Arafeh, MD; Allen Blaivas, DO; Ahmar Jafary, DO; Timothy Meehan, MD
  8. Chest. 2011;140(4_MeetingAbstracts):10A. doi:10.1378/chest.1120046
  9. Brown CA, Lally C, Kupelian V, Flanders WD. Estimated Prevalence and Incidence of Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis and SOD1 and C9orf72 Genetic Variants. Neuroepidemiology. 2021