Today, Santa Clara, California based biopharma Xenoport announced funding from The Michael J. Fox Foundation (MJFF) to study a type of drug called a fumaric acid ester for its neuroprotective potential in Parkinson’s disease (PD) pre-clinical models. The drug is a chemical compound derived from fumaric acids, which are found in certain mushrooms and moss, and which are commonly used as food additives.
Fumaric acid esters are also currently being tested clinically for multiple sclerosis and psoriasis (in fact, they’ve been approved to treat psoriasis in parts of Europe for years, but not in the United States). Existing such therapies have been shown to have adverse effects on the gastrointestinal system in previous clinical trials, but early pre-clinical work into XenoPort’s drug has found these effects to be reduced.
To learn more about Xenoport’s work on their drug candidate, called XP23829, check out a summary of the study.