April 4, 2019

Mitsubishi Tanabe Pharma America Announces Names of Teens And Young Adults Chosen for Inclusion In ALSO US Initiative

Program Fosters Use of Original Written and Visual Art to Share Experiences with Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS)

JERSEY CITY, N.J., April 4, 2019 – Mitsubishi Tanabe Pharma America, Inc. (MTPA) today announced the first teens and young adults selected to participate and receive mentoring through the ALSO USTM initiative. Those selected will be paired with a creative mentor who will help them develop their stories using various art forms such as writing, photography, film, and graphic design.

“ALS impacts the entire family in ways that are hard to fully understand,” said Atsushi Fujimoto, President, MTPA. “That’s why we felt it was so important to provide a creative outlet for teens and young adults to share their experiences. We want them to know they are not alone and be encouraged by the fact that others can learn from their experiences. We look forward to seeing their creative works in the coming months.”

The first round of ALSO US participants includes:

  • Mackenzie Anderson, Massachusetts, collaborating with Wendy Angulo to develop a public speech
  • Aleia Kristene Asbey, Georgia, partnering with filmmaker Jason Harvey to express her story through screenwriting
  • Daniel Campbell, California, collaborating with poet and writer Wendy Angulo on a poem about a teen’s perspective on ALS
  • Cassidy Pierce, New York, working with photographer David Plakke on an ALS awareness campaign
  • Kieran White, Minnesota, partnering with Wendy Angulo on a biographical essay

The ALSO US program is designed to help raise awareness of the challenges young people face when a parent or other family member has been diagnosed with ALS, a rapidly progressive neurodegenerative disease that affects the nerve cells in the brain and the spinal cord.1 The majority of ALS patients die within two to five years of receiving a diagnosis, but progression of the disease can vary significantly.2

“Writing empowered my voice, allowing me to connect with others through my words; it gives us the courage to speak up and tell our stories,” said Wendy Angulo, writer/poet and ALSO US program mentor. “I’m eager to work with the ALSO US program participants and to help them find their voices so they, too, can share their stories.” Young adults who have a loved one with ALS may experience emotional challenges and may need support to cope with such an overwhelming disease. ALSO US encourages young people affected by this disease to use the power of written and visual art to express their experiences.

In the coming weeks, alsousart.com will feature original creative artwork as well as additional resources. In the meantime, MTPA continues to accept submissions of original artwork for display in a planned online gallery.

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 www.mt-pharma-america.com 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. 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 and the license holder of RADICAVA. For more information, go to http://www.mt-pharma.co.jp/.

Media inquiries:
Debbie Etchison

  1. National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke. Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS) Information Page. https://www.ninds.nih.gov/disorders/all-disorders/amyotrophic-lateral-sclerosis-als-information-page. Accessed March 12, 2019.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.