One of the Parkinsonís research questions that vexes scientists and slows drug development is how does Parkinsonís progress? The Michael J. Fox Foundation has joined a multinational consortium that will work to create a model of Parkinsonís progression to help design clinical trials and test new therapies.
The Critical Path for Parkinsonís Consortium is led by Parkinsonís UK and the Critical Path Institute (C-Path) in Tucson, Arizona and aims to create a quantitative model of Parkinsonís progression from its earliest stages that will allow researchers to optimize clinical trial design for faster and more effective testing of new therapies.
C-Path will standardize and aggregate data from several large-scale Parkinsonís studies ó including the MJFF-led Parkinsonís Progression Markers Initiative comprising nearly 1,000 participants, which has made its data available in real time since it launched in 2010. C-Path will apply computational tools to the pooled database to produce the quantitative progression model and submit the tool to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and the European Medicines Agency for feedback.†
ďMore therapies with potential to slow or stop Parkinsonís progression in its early stages are moving through clinical trials,Ē said MJFF Senior Vice President of Research Programs Mark Frasier, PhD. ďA quantitative characterization of that early progression would help evaluate the impact of these treatments and usher effective therapies to the people who need them.Ē
Currently clinical trials for potential new therapies are time-consuming and costly. Due to the variability in Parkinsonís symptoms and progression and the lack of objective biomarkers, trials must enroll hundreds of patients and follow them for many months if not years. Development of a quantitative model of Parkinsonís progression, potentially combining both biological and clinical factors, may allow for efficient trials that aim to treat the right patient with the right drug at the right time.
Parkinsonís UK and C-Path launched the CPP in October 2015, and seven major pharmaceutical companies, the Parkinsonís Disease Foundation, the Davis Phinney Foundation and Cure Parkinsonís Trust have subsequently signed on to the initiative.
ďWe are very pleased to welcome The Michael J. Fox Foundation to this important collaboration,Ē said Martha A. Brumfield, president and CEO of C-Path. ďThe Foundationís unwavering commitment to helping patients with PD, their years of experience in articulating the patient perspective, and their research priorities will enrich the work of the Critical Path for Parkinsonís Consortium.Ē
Arthur Roach, PhD, director of research at Parkinsonís UK, the principal funder of the consortium, says: ďParkinsonís UK is determined to get better treatments to people living with this devastating condition in years, not decades. A key part of this is joining forces with regulators, researchers, pharma and medical research charities such as MJFF to maximize the benefit of data-sharing and learnings. Working with CPP partners will play a crucial role in helping develop and evaluate the effectiveness of potential new therapies, which could one day lead us to a cure for Parkinsonís.Ē
The PD data platform will eventually will be made available to qualified researchers for further investigation into Parkinsonís disease.
Find more information on clinical studies investigating Parkinson's progression, visit the MJFF clinical study matching tool Fox Trial Finder.