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SSM Health Medical Minute – New drug brings hope for ALS patients

ST. LOUIS (KTVI) – David Frey of Lake St. Louis is a world class mountain biker. He recently switched to an electric bike after he started slowing down in races. He was diagnosed with ALS in October 2016.

The 52-year-old is cautiously optimistic about the new FDA-approved drug Radicava.

Research in Japan shows the drug slows muscle decline by 33 percent in people who were recently diagnosed with the disease. Frey may be an ideal candidate for infusions of the drug.

The New York Times reports the drug will cost about $145,000 a year. Health care professionals say they'll work quickly to get insurance companies to provide coverage.

Find out more about the ALS Center at St. Louis University Hospital, the only ALSA certified clinic in the St. Louis area since 1995 and the only one in the bi-state region. The clinic offers an opportunity for patients to see various specialists in one clinic visit.