Our CEO Todd Sherer, PhD, recently spoke with reporter Jessica Merrill from The Pink Sheet ó a pharmaceutical and medical technology trade publication. They discussed progress in Parkinsonís disease research and the Foundationís de-risking model.
The following is an excerpt from the paid article:
Parkinsonís disease drug development has proven time and again to be one of the most challenging areas of research for the drug industry ... But new breakthroughs in drug delivery technology and more importantly genetic research, much of it supported by The Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson's Research, have reignited industryís interest in the therapy area.
The Pink Sheet: How has the development landscape for Parkinsonís changed in the last three to five years?
Todd Sherer: There has been an incredible amount of progress in moving potential products forward. For symptomatic treatments, we at the Fox Foundation had gotten involved in some projects focused on improving the delivery of levodopa, which could have a big impact for patients who suffer from these ďon/offĒ episodes.
Then, on the disease-modifying front, we have now started to see much more consolidation around some of the genetic targets in Parkinsonís ... What is exciting about these is that these targets are really addressing what might be the underlying mechanism or underlying cause of Parkinsonís.
The Pink Sheet: How do you decide where to invest?
Sherer: We start with the interactions we have with the patients to understand the unmet needs. Then we identify the scientific opportunities that have the greatest chance of impacting those unmet needs. Then we do a lot of landscape analysis to see how can the foundation have the biggest impact to attract additional resources. We call that de-risking. It comes in two flavors.
One is, in individual therapeutic projects, we are willing to take high risks with our investment to start projects at very early stages. The goal is then to develop data packages to attract other investment.
Then the other is more field-like. When we look at Parkinsonís, what can we do to get more investment in Parkinsonís? What can we do to give therapies across the board greater success? Biomarkers is one example.
Learn more about how you can participate in Parkinson's research.