Leading Private Funder of Autism Research and Innovative Clinical Organization Join Together to Advance Standard of Care for Autism
Los Angeles, Calif., Oct. 25, 2006 – Cure Autism Now (CAN) and the Autism Treatment Network (ATN) are merging operations to strengthen and accelerate their efforts to advance a standard of care for autism and related disorders. A memorandum of
understanding has been accepted by both organizations with the board of directors of CAN and ATN unanimously supporting the merger. As a combined organization, ATN will become a program in Cure Autism Now's clinical research portfolio.
“Autism is a national health crisis and it's a tragedy that there is no standard of care available to individuals who struggle with the myriad challenges associated with the disorder,” says Peter Bell, president and CEO of Cure Autism Now. “Families should no longer be told ‘There's nothing you can do to treat your child's autism.' Autism can be treated and we must develop evidence-based standards and ultimately a medical home so that their quality of life is maximized in every way.”
Cure Autism Now and ATN share a commitment to the biomedical treatment of autism and a belief that a better quality of life is possible for those affected by this developmental brain disorder. The two organizations expect to conclude due diligence and final board approvals by Nov. 30. ATN will then become a fully-funded clinical research program of Cure Autism Now, joining the Autism Genetic Resource Exchange (AGRE) and Clinical Trials Network (CTN).
“ATN is a collaborative of leading centers in autism treatment. The centers share information and successful practices to create and continually improve a standard of care for autism,” says James M. Perrin, M.D., professor of Pediatrics at Harvard Medical School and director of the Division of General Pediatrics and the Center for Child and Adolescent Health Policy at the MassGeneral Hospital for Children and an ATN board member. “We looked at the successes of other disease research and treatment models, such as childhood cancers and cystic fibrosis, and dedicated ourselves to developing a network of physicians and scientists that would share discoveries and collaborate on solutions.”
ATN is working toward evidence-based practice parameters for the biomedical treatment of individuals affected by autism and related disorders; establishing and supporting a community of engaged physicians, clinicians, researchers and families; providing collaborative opportunities for careful evaluation of new treatment approaches; creating a shared, standardized national database; and promoting healthcare reform in the realm of autism treatment.
The boards of both Cure Autism Now and ATN, together with their founders, are thrilled to announce the merger. The new structure will greatly facilitate access to a multidisciplinary network of practitioners that will offer state-of-the-art diagnostic testing and treatment services for autism as well as provide critical infrastructure to investigate and validate new therapies.