Today, good news in the search for a treatment for one of the most pressing needs for those living with Parkinson’s disease today — dyskinesia.
Swiss biotech Addex Therapeutics announced positive results from a Michael J. Fox Foundation-funded phase 2 clinical study of their drug candidate dipraglurant, which is being tested as a therapy to be taken in conjunction with levodopa (the gold standard for treating PD). Levodopa works to restore levels of dopamine in the brain, improving movement and other functions that decline in Parkinson's disease. But levodopa can also lead to dyskinesia, the uncontrollable movements that are a disabling side effect of the drug. The hope is that dipraglurant would allow patients to experience the benefits of levodopa while limiting dyskinesia.
MJFF spoke with Bill Langston, MD, scientific director and chief executive officer of The Parkinson's Institute in Sunnyvale, California, as well as staff scientists Audrey Dufour, PhD and Jamie Eberling, PhD to get a better idea of what this announcement might mean for those living with PD today. Below, an excerpt from our conversation:
“The Addex drug would be only the second dyskinesia-targeted drug to make it into the third phase of clinical testing, essentially the last round before a drug would look to be approved by the FDA,” said Dr. Eberling. “No dyskinesia treatment has been approved by the FDA yet. It is good news that both Addex and Novartis could have compounds targeting mGluR5 in this third phase of testing. The more shots on goal, so to speak, the better the chances of finding a drug that works.”