Cynapsus Therapeutics today announced funding from The Michael J. Fox Foundation (MJFF) for clinical studies to develop a novel formulation of the drug apomorphine, a dopamine agonist that has been used in Parkinson’s patients to treat symptoms experienced during “off-episodes” once they have begun. Traditionally, the drug is injected into the body in a liquid form, but Cynapsus is working to develop the drug as a thin film strip that is placed under the tongue.
Maurizio Facheris, MD, MSc, associate director of research programs at MJFF, explains that drug developers have been searching for a less invasive way to deliver apomorphine into the body for years now. While it’s an effective drug, it has been largely under-prescribed due to undesirable side effects – in particular, many who take the drug experience painful nodules under the skin. Preliminary data from pre-clinical work into Cynapsus’ new drug candidate, called APL-130277, have been encouraging.