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How a drug shift set the stage for a potential winner for ALS patients
San Francisco Business Times

Just as the Great Recession’s hardest blows landed on the biotech industry, Cytokinetics Inc. did a version of the bob and weave. The result may be the best hope for extending the lives of patients with Lou Gehrig’s disease.

The South San Francisco company seven years ago decided to ditch its cancer drug work in favor of muscle programs: heart, skeletal and smooth muscles that offered potentially quicker routes to drug approval and less competition.

Now, as Cytokinetics announced Tuesday, it is taking one of those experimental treatments into a late-stage trial for patients with Lou Gehrig’s disease, also known as amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, or ALS.

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