Addex Therapeutics Awarded $1 MM Grant from The Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson's Research
New York, NY and Geneva, Switzerland - Addex Therapeutics (SIX: ADXN), a leading company pioneering allosteric modulation-based drug discovery and development, and The Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson's Research announced today that the Foundation awarded a $1,000,000 grant to Addex to help fund continued human clinical testing of dipraglurant for the treatment of Parkinson's disease levodopa-induced dyskinesia (PD-LID). One-third of people with PD develop dyskinesia within four to six years of beginning levodopa treatment; this increases to approximately 90 percent after nine or more years. Patients with Parkinson's disease (PD) can live 10-20 years after diagnosis; however, PD-LID is a leading cause of disability in this growing patient population.
"Dyskinesia is a top priority for our Foundation because of its significant negative impact on patients' quality of life," said Todd Sherer, Ph.D., Chief Executive Officer of The Michael J. Fox Foundation. "Candidates such as dipraglurant and other innovative therapies in development offer the possibility of improved quality of life through better symptomatic treatment of Parkinson's. Dipraglurant targets a molecular mechanism that our Foundation has been investing in since 2005 and we are pleased to take part in its continued progress to the clinic. We are enthusiastic about funding this work and hopeful that it may offer patients relief from a longstanding issue with the treatment of their disease."
Dyskinesias are the uncontrollable and disruptive movements that are caused by long-term use of levodopa (Sinemet), a dopamine replacement therapy and the gold-standard treatment for Parkinson's disease. There is no FDA-approved treatment for dyskinesia. Existing treatment options are limited and insufficient to address patients' medical needs. Patients are faced with a lose-lose situation: Take as much levodopa as needed to manage symptoms, and cope with dyskinesia; or take less medicine in an effort to delay or prevent dyskinesia, and cope with symptoms. The Michael J. Fox Foundation has invested more than $26 million in dyskinesia-targeted research to date, including support for a successful Phase 2a trial of dipraglurant completed by Addex in 2012.
"We are extremely pleased to receive this grant from The Michael J. Fox Foundation supporting the further development of dipraglurant," said Bharatt Chowrira, Ph.D., Chief Executive Officer of Addex Therapeutics. "We believe the successful completion of the Phase 2a study offers some promise that dipraglurant has the potential to significantly change both the way patients are treated as well as their quality of life. The work we will be able to pursue with this grant is critical to our continued advancement of this important approach to the treatment of PD-LID. Ultimately, we hope to see dipraglurant become the first drug to alleviate all PD-LID symptoms."
Dipraglurant is an oral, small molecule allosteric modulator that inhibits selectively the metabotropic glutamate receptor 5 (mGluR5), a Class C G-Protein Coupled Receptor (GPCR). Dipraglurant holds potential to be used in combination with levodopa or dopamine agonists, or as a standalone treatment for PD-LID, PD-related motor symptoms, dystonia, non-motor symptoms of PD and other movement disorders. Data from a Phase 2a showed that dipraglurant met the primary objective of the study by exhibiting a good safety and tolerability profile. Dipraglurant also demonstrated a statistically significant reduction in LID severity with both 50 and 100 mg doses. Dipraglurant appears to reduce dystonia severity in addition to chorea, the two major LID components. In a double-blind, placebo-controlled study conducted in the US and Europe, the primary objective was to demonstrate safety and tolerability in PD-LID patients. In addition, the trial was designed to evaluate exploratory efficacy as a secondary objective. Efficacy was measured using the modified Abnormal Involuntary Movement Scale (mAIMS), patient diaries documenting "off-time" (impaired voluntary movement), "on-time" (with or without dyskinesia) and sleep. The trial was supported by a grant from The Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson's Research.