The Michael J. Fox Foundation’s 2019 agenda is focused on building improved knowledge about the lived experience of Parkinson's disease, finding an objective test for Parkinson’s, engaging patients in research and supporting the development of new treatments and a cure.
The Michael J. Fox Foundation’s (MJFF) research strategy — projects and activities we fund and prioritize for scientific attention and problem-solving — evolves rapidly in concert with advances made in Parkinson’s disease (PD) research. The past two decades have brought substantial growth in understanding PD, in particular the role of genetics and the disease mechanisms that are influenced by genetic changes. This has led to the development and testing of several experimental therapies that have the potential to slow or stop progression — patients’ greatest unmet need.
While we have made progress, much remains to be discovered. Our relentless pursuit of a cure requires a dedicated and significant supply of human and financial capital. MJFF has identified high-priority opportunities for the PD research field that could absorb in excess of $200 million in funding. We aim to conduct at least $100 million in programs in 2019, setting priorities in our research portfolio that continue to build on the field’s unprecedented momentum.
Given our knowledge to date and the continued unknowns around the causes and contributors to Parkinson’s disease and related parkinsonisms, for our 2019 agenda we have set the following areas of focus:
- Leverage improved knowledge of diseases of the brain to advance precision medicine approaches that can support the development of disease-modifying treatments (those that could slow or stop progression of disease)
- Use an integrated (“roadmap”) approach to understanding Parkinson's disease, drug development and the measurement of therapeutic activity/outcome in order to translate complex disease understanding into new treatments faster
- Facilitate late-stage development and approvals of therapies by advancing patients’ role in research and addressing policy, regulator and payer considerations related to new therapies
- Continue investment in developing, participating and/or leading multistakeholder collaborations and consortia to increase knowledge-sharing, learning and impact
- Engage the patient community regionally/nationally, online, at community events and in all relevant settings to educate and inform them of their vital role in helping us achieve our mission by participating in clinical trials and advocacy and grassroots activities