The Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson's Research (MJFF) and The Michael Stern Parkinson's Research Foundation (MSPRF) announced today the merging of their organizations to advance cutting-edge research focused on the underlying cause, diagnosis and treatment of Parkinson's disease (PD). The partnership creates the Michael Stern Discovery Grants in Parkinson's Science to support high-risk discovery work as the backbone of drug development.
"For nearly 15 years, The Michael Stern Parkinson's Research Foundation has championed a strategic approach to advancing the PD research field. We share a dedication to progress and to ensuring the most promising research gets the right support from critical early stages," said Todd Sherer, PhD, CEO of The Michael J. Fox Foundation. "In forming this partnership, our Foundation will work to continue Michael Stern and MSPRF's legacy in the Parkinson's and scientific community."
Honoring a Legacy of Supporting Scientific Breakthroughs
Today, unprecedented scientific opportunities exist that can dramatically improve scientists' understanding of PD and fill the drug development pipeline with new and promising targets. The merger will continue the vital work of MSPRF through grants funding neurological research with strong potential to develop novel disease-modifying and symptomatic targets.
The Michael Stern Parkinson's Research Foundation was founded by Rome- and New York-based journalist, filmmaker and philanthropist Michael Stern with a vision of uncovering the cause and improving treatments for PD, and renewed its commitment after his passing in 2009. Since its inception in 2001, MSPRF has supported more than $46 million in research.
"Our Foundation has always been driven by the profound need to identify discoveries in understanding and curing Parkinson's," said Margaret Stern, MSPRF Chair and CEO and Mr. Stern's daughter. "Our partnership with The Michael J. Fox Foundation reinforces our commitment to scientific collaboration and progress. My brother and I know that this merger is one that our father would have heartily approved of and fully endorsed."
Expanding a Commitment to Turn the Best Ideas Into Practical Treatments
The Michael Stern Discovery Grants in Parkinson's Science will provide strategic funding for novel PD discovery science and build on the initial findings around emerging targets, helping speed them forward in the drug development process. In alignment with its grant selection process, MJFF's expert on-staff research team will work in partnership with external experts through a peer-review system to identify, evaluate and award work with the greatest promise to propel development of transformative therapies for PD.
MJFF was represented by the law firm Schaner & Lubitz, PLLC in connection with the merger.