November 5, 2018

Mitsubishi Tanabe Pharma America’s ALSO US Initiative Begins Accepting Artistic Submissions from Teens Impacted by ALS

Program to Showcase Original, Teen-Created Visual and Written Artwork, While Connecting Participants with Creative Mentors

JERSEY CITY, N.J., Nov. 5, 2018 – Mitsubishi Tanabe Pharma America, Inc. (MTPA) today announced it is now accepting submissions of original visual and written artistic content from teens impacted by amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). Through a new initiative called ALSO USTM, MTPA is helping to raise awareness about the challenges teens face when a parent or other family member is diagnosed with ALS.

An estimated 5,000 – 6,000 Americans are diagnosed with ALS each year.1 Teens who have a parent with ALS can experience emotional challenges and may need support to cope with such an overwhelming disease.2

“When people consider the role of caregivers, they commonly think of a spouse or other adult,” said Atsushi Fujimoto, President, MTPA. “However, when a person is diagnosed with ALS, they often have children, who may be quite involved in caring for the family member. This is why we are working to raise awareness about the impact of ALS on the whole family and want to provide teens a platform to express what they are going through.”

To participate in the ALSO US program, teens and young adults (ages 12 to 25) can submit a creative work to be featured at and/or a short essay describing why they want to receive guidance and mentoring from a creative expert to help bring their stories to life. Selected participants from the essay submissions will have the opportunity to work with one of the program’s advisory partners, who are professionals in the fields of photography, graphic design, poetry and documentary film. Submissions will be accepted until January 22, 2019.

“Teens who have a family member affected by ALS face a unique set of challenges as they take on many adult caregiving responsibilities while witnessing someone they love battling a horrific disease,” said Jodi O’Donnell-Ames, President and Founder, Hope Loves Company, a non-profit that provides educational and emotional support to children and young adults who have or have had a loved one with ALS. “It’s important to listen to the concerns and feelings of young adults and let them know they’re not alone. It’s important to me to support these teens emotionally and to encourage positive outlets by encouraging them to express thoughts and feelings through art.”

ALSO US Creative Experts Include:

  • Bom5, Artist – Graphic design artist from New York City who has experience working with children in grades K-12 in New York, Japan and several European countries
  • David Plakke, Photographer – Photographer and videographer with extensive history shooting portraits, celebrity editorials and major events
  • Jason Harvey, Filmmaker – Founder and executive producer at Argonaut Films, a Brooklyn-based film production company
  • Wendy Angulo, Writer – Writer, producer and curator who works to bring opportunities to the New York City literary community through writing, poetry and storytelling

About ALS
An estimated 5,000-6,000 Americans are diagnosed each year with ALS, a rapidly progressive neurodegenerative disease that affects the nerve cells in the brain and the spinal cord.1,3 The majority of ALS patients die within two to five years of receiving a diagnosis, but progression of the disease can vary significantly.4

About Mitsubishi Tanabe Pharma America, Inc.
Based in Jersey City, N.J., Mitsubishi Tanabe Pharma America, Inc. (MTPA) is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Mitsubishi Tanabe Pharma Corporation’s (MTPC) 100 percent owned U.S. holding company, Mitsubishi Tanabe Pharma Holdings America, Inc. MTPA is dedicated to delivering innovative products that address the unmet medical needs of patients in North America. It was established by MTPC to commercialize approved pharmaceutical products in North America with plans to expand its product line through collaborations with partners. For more information, please visit or follow us on Twitter and Facebook.

Overview of Mitsubishi Tanabe Pharma Corporation
Mitsubishi Tanabe Pharma, which was founded in 1678, has its headquarters in Doshomachi, Osaka, which is the birthplace of Japan’s pharmaceutical industry. With business centered on ethical pharmaceuticals, Mitsubishi Tanabe Pharma is a well-established company and has the longest history of any listed company in Japan. 5 In accordance with the corporate philosophy of “contributing to the healthier lives of people around the world through the creation of pharmaceuticals,” the Company formulated the key concept of Open Up the Future under the Medium-Term Management Plan 2016-2020. Through the discovery of drugs that address unmet medical needs, centered on its priority disease areas — autoimmune diseases, diabetes and kidney diseases, central nervous system diseases, and vaccines — Mitsubishi Tanabe Pharma will strive to contribute to the health of patients around the world. MTPC is the parent company of MTPA. For more information, go to

Media inquiries:
Debbie Etchison

  1. Marin B, Boumediene F, Logroscino G, et al. (2016). Variation in worldwide incidence of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis: a meta-analysis. Int J Epidemiol, 00:1-18.
  2. Calvo V, Bianco F, Benelli E, et al. (2015) Impact on children of a parent with ALS: a case-control study. Frontiers in Psychology. 6:288.
  3. National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke. Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS) Information Page. Accessed April 12,2017.
  4. Mehta P, Kaye W, Bryan L, et al. (2016). Prevalence of Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis — United States, 2012–2013. MMWR Surveill Summ; 65(No. SS-8):1–12.