Foundation awardee Cynapsus Therapeutics was recognized for their 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.
Drug developers have long searched for a less invasive way to deliver apomorphine into the body. 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’ drug candidate, called APL-130277, have been encouraging.