Cures Within Reach Honors Father Touched by Promise of Repurposing Research

SKOKIE, Ill. - May 26, 2016 - PRLog -- Cures Within Reach (, the Chicago-based global non-profit dedicated to fast-tracking drug repurposing research to save patient lives, will be awarding Dr. Nick Sireau and Professor Lakshminarayan Ranganath with the Patient Impact Philanthropy Award at the 2016 Global Health Repurposing Awards on June 21st at the Montgomery Club in Chicago.

Dr. Sireau and Professor Ranganath are being honored for their contributions to a breakthrough discovery that can potentially help thousands of patients with the disease Alkaptonuria (AKU) by repurposing a generic drug.

When Nick's sons were born more than 10 years ago, he never imagined the journey his family's lives would take. Nick's children have AKU, also called Black Bone Disease, a rare, painful and degenerative condition that causes early-onset osteoarthritis. AKU was the first metabolic disease ever discovered, and is a crippling condition for which there is no current cure. The only options ahead for Nick's boys were an increasing reliance on medication to alleviate pain and surgery to replace failing joints.

Nick has dedicated his life to finding a cure for AKU, founding the AKU Society and raising $13 million to fuel promising studies using nitisinone, a drug approved for another purpose that has shown signs of helping to slow the progression of the disease. Professor Ranganath was one of the first researchers to study AKU. In conjunction with the Royal University Hospital in the UK, he established the National Alkaptonuria Centre (NAC), which now provides free assessments, support and off-label access to nitisinone for AKU patients.

Nick and Professor Ranganath will be on hand to accept the Patient Impact Philanthropy Award from Cures Within Reach at the gala event. "We are proud to recognize the remarkable achievements of these two dedicated individuals, who have demonstrated a tireless commitment to helping patients of this debilitating disease," said Bruce Bloom, President, Cures Within Reach.

For Nick Sireau, this award is a great way to celebrate the years of effort that have gone into validating this potential cure, and the hope it provides for his sons and AKU patients around the world, saying "I am honored to receive this prestigious award, which is dedicated to my own family and countless other patients who face the challenges of AKU every day."

Cures Within Reach is currently working with the Canadian Institutes of Health Research to select and fund a portfolio of rare disease repurposing projects similar to the nitisinone repurposing in AKU.

Cures Within Reach will be honoring two others with Patient Impact Awards, Dr. Jerome Zeldis, CEO of Celgene Global Health and Chief Medical Officer of Celgene and Marty St. Clair of Viiv Healthcare, who will receive the Janet Davidson Rowley Patient Impact Research Award for her discovery of AZT for HIV.

For more information about the awards gala or to register for the event visit:


Cures Within Reach works to catalyze repurposing research to quickly and affordably improve patient lives. We accomplish this through collaborations that connect researchers and funding, by facilitating crowd sourcing and community, and by identifying alternative financing models and incentives. Cures Within Reach's repurposing research projects have generated 13 "new" treatments making an impact through off-label use in clinical practice or through a commercialization track.


Cures Within Reach built CureAccelerator ( to provide a global collaboration space and market for repurposing research that can deliver effective solutions to unsolved diseases. The CureAccelerator platform was built with a grant from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, to explore whether drugs, devices and nutraceuticals approved for one or more human diseases can be repurposed to create "new" treatments in other diseases. CureAccelerator has almost 1,000 users who have proposed over 100 projects, of which more than a dozen are already funded and moving towards patient impact.

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Kristin Deuber
Cures Within Reach
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