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Access to Clinical Data and Biospecimens, and Funding to Use Them, from The Michael J. Fox Foundation Encourages Drug Development

NEW YORK, NY - The Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson's Research (MJFF) has announced that qualified researchers may now request access to clinical data and biospecimens from a collection of studies exploring promising areas in Parkinson's research. The Foundation is also offering funding for use and analysis of the available information and materials to progress therapeutic and disease-modifying treatments.

"The standardized collection of data and samples that The Michael J. Fox Foundation has led through a variety of consortia and studies provides a rich base for investigators to glean and test hypotheses," said Todd Sherer, PhD, CEO of MJFF. "By making these resources available to academia and industry -- with the addition of valuable contributions from respected partners -- we encourage the acceleration of research that will improve the lives of Parkinson's patients and find a cure for the disease."

Qualified scientists may request access to data and/or biospecimens alone or in conjunction with a request for funds to analyze the information and materials. Investigators may request $250,000 in total costs for up to two years.

The participating studies are:

LRRK2 Cohort Consortium -- assembling and studying groups of people with and without PD who carry mutations in the LRRK2 gene

Parkinson's Progression Markers Initiative (PPMI) -- MJFF-led landmark observational study to assess progression of clinical features and imaging as well as biologic biomarkers in various populations

Fox Investigation for New Discovery of Biomarkers (BioFIND) -- cross-sectional clinical study designed to discover and verify biomarkers of Parkinson's disease (PD)

Arizona Parkinson's Disease Consortium -- brain and body donation program that enrolls healthy individuals and individuals with PD, Alzheimer's disease and other neurologic disorders

DATATOP -- intervention trial, conducted by the Parkinson Study Group in the late 1980s, and a long-term study on the effect of deprenyl and tocopherol (a form of vitamin E) on the progression of early PD

24-Hour Biofluids -- collected biospecimens (cerebrospinal fluid and blood) over 24 hours at 11 different time points to understand the inter-subject variability and intra-subject variability of putative biomarkers in PD

Rush University Brain Bank -- one of the leading collections of brain samples and spinal tissue in the world, which includes a diverse group of subject types, including PD, progressive supranuclear palsy and healthy controls

Pre-clinical Tissue -- more than 30 different central nervous system (CNS) and non-CNS tissues are collected and stored from pre-clinical models genetically engineered to exhibit PD-like phenotype

First-Time Availability of Robust LRRK2 Resources

MJFF is now providing approved access to LRRK2 Cohort Consortium clinical data and biospecimens, collected since 2009. The Foundation has brought together multiple sites throughout nine countries to collect clinical data and biological information from 1,910 individuals with the goal of creating a pool to draw from for future research into LRRK2 gene mutation: the greatest known genetic contributor to PD. As genetic targets allow researchers to study mechanisms underlying disease onset and progression, insight into LRRK2 can speed progress toward treatments that would benefit all PD patients, including those with more common, idiopathic forms of the disease.

While requests for MJFF resources may be submitted at any time, reviews for funding and/or access to biospecimens will take place in August, October and December. To be considered for the August review, requests must be submitted by July 25, 2013.

Learn more about the participating studies and how to request access at the MJFF Access Data and Biospecimens Web page.

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