Medidata Institute and Project ALS Launch Partnership to Accelerate New Treatment Strategies

  • Medidata to apply proprietary artificial intelligence tools to aid the fight against ALS
  • New initiative is part of Medidata’s ongoing commitment to rare diseases

NEW YORK, February 27, 2020 - Medidata, a Dassault Systèmes company, and the global leader in creating end-to-end solutions supporting the entire clinical trial process, announced the launch of a research partnership between the Medidata Institute and Project ALS. The program is designed to gain a greater understanding of the ALS disease process and develop new therapeutic strategies. 

The Medidata Institute engages and partners with research organizations, life science companies, researchers, regulatory agencies, and patient advocates to deliver insights that redefine how data, technology, and expertise improve lives and inspire the next generation of treatments, with a special emphasis on rare (orphan) diseases. 

“We are proud to partner with Project ALS on such an important quest. The patients and the researchers inspire us - they are the basis of our mission to use technology to change lives,” said Glen de Vries, co-founder and co-CEO, Medidata. “We look forward to applying Medidata’s next-generation tools to deepen our understanding of this devastating disease, and accelerate the pace of new discoveries.” [Video of Glen de Vries and Sheila Diamond of the Medidata Institute discussing the partnership.]

The research efforts will use Medidata Rave Omics, a biomarker discovery solution which streamlines omic (including genomic, proteomic, and transcriptomic) data capture within the clinical study process. Rave Omics, part of the Medidata’s Acorn AI portfolio, uses machine-learning methodologies to identify subsets of patients based on omic biomarkers. For rare diseases, like ALS, identifying biomarkers that differentiate patients and determine treatment response can significantly improve health outcomes. Acorn AI, by Medidata, was created to focus on accelerating the development of analytics and AI solutions in clinical development. 

“ALS is a complex, heterogeneous disease, and treatment of its various forms may require specific therapies targeting distinct ALS subtypes,” said Neil Shneider, MD, PhD, Project ALS Research Advisory Board member, the Claire Tow Associate Professor of Neurology, Columbia University, and director, Eleanor and Lou Gehrig ALS Center. “I’m eager to begin working with Medidata’s Acorn AI team to define these subtypes, and to develop a precision medicine approach to our treatment of ALS.”

ALS (amyotrophic lateral sclerosis), also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease, is a neurodegenerative disease closely related to Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, and Huntington’s diseases. There is no cure for this disease that robs one’s ability to move, speak, eat, and breathe. By 2025, it is estimated that 1 in 25 Americans will be diagnosed with a neurodegenerative disease and that the financial toll of this crisis—in healthcare costs alone—will be more than $120 billion annually.

“The partnership with Medidata will bring both talent and technology resources crucial to our efforts,” said Meredith Estess, president, Project ALS. “We’re pleased and proud to be working with such a dedicated, innovative team.”

The collaborative agreement with Project ALS expands on the Medidata Institute’s programs to advance precision medicine and is part of Medidata’s ongoing commitment to rare diseases. To date, Medidata has helped biopharma companies conduct more than 1,200 rare disease studies involving more than 190,000 patients. Medidata’s cloud-based platform enables clinical trials to run smoother, faster, and safer for patients. 

Medidata is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Dassault Systèmes, which with its 3DEXPERIENCE platform is positioned to lead the digital transformation of life sciences in the age of personalized medicine with the first end-to-end scientific and business platform, from research to commercialization.

About Medidata

Medidata is powering smarter treatments and healthier people through digital solutions to support clinical trials. Celebrating 25 years of ground-breaking technological innovation across more than 32,000 trials and 9 million patients, Medidata offers industry-leading expertise, analytics-powered insights, and the largest patient-level historical clinical trial data set in the world. More than 1 million registered users across 2,100+ customers trust Medidata’s seamless, end-to-end platform to improve patient experiences, accelerate clinical breakthroughs, and bring therapies to market faster. A Dassault Systèmes company (Euronext Paris: FR0014003TT8, DSY.PA), Medidata is headquartered in New York City and has been recognized as a Leader by Everest Group and IDC. Discover more at and follow us @Medidata.

About Medidata Institute and Acorn AI

The Medidata Institute works in partnership with life science companies, researchers, regulatory agencies, patient advocates, and international organizations to solve challenges in treatment research, development, and delivery. The Institute, part of Acorn AI, by Medidata, a Dassault Systèmes company, combines data, technology, and deep expertise to help life sciences companies deliver actionable insights across the entire continuum of clinical development. Built upon the Medidata platform comprising nearly 20,000 trials and more than 5.8 million patients, Acorn AI products feature the industry’s largest structured, standardized clinical trial data repository connected with real world, translational, and other datasets. For more information, please visit

About Project ALS

Project ALS identifies and funds the most promising scientific and medical research that will lead to the first effective treatments and a cure for ALS. We recruit the world's best scientists and doctors to work together--rationally and aggressively--to develop a better understanding of the ALS disease process and, in parallel, better therapeutic strategies. For more information, visit

About Dassault Systèmes

Dassault Systèmes is a catalyst for human progress. We provide business and people with collaborative virtual environments to imagine sustainable innovations. By creating virtual twin experiences of the real world with our 3DEXPERIENCE platform and applications, our customers can redefine the creation, production and life-cycle-management processes of their offer and thus have a meaningful impact to make the world more sustainable. The beauty of the Experience Economy is that it is a human-centered economy for the benefit of all – consumers, patients and citizens. Dassault Systèmes brings value to more than 350,000 customers of all sizes, in all industries, in more than 150 countries. For more information, visit