While people criticized this challenge, saying it would be better to simply challenge people to donate - rather than giving them an option to "get out of" giving money to the cause - the challenge actually did raise money.
$115 million, in fact. Which has funded 6 large-scale research projects on ALS. One of these studies has identified a new gene contributing to the disease:
Research by Project MinE, published in Nature Genetics, is the largest-ever study of inherited ALS, also known as motor neurone disease (MND). More than 80 researchers in 11 countries searched for ALS risk genes in families affected by the disease. "The sophisticated gene analysis that led to this finding was only possible because of the large number of ALS samples available," Lucie Bruijn of the ALS Association says. The identification of gene NEK1 means scientists can now develop a gene therapy treating it.