The Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Research (MJFF) today announced a new collaboration with the Shake It Up Foundation Australia and its founder, businessman Clyde Campbell. The organizations will work to bring MJFF’s landmark clinical study, the Parkinson’s Progression Markers Initiative (PPMI), to Australia. The Shake It Up Foundation will raise funds for PPMI and other Parkinson’s research being carried out in Australian labs. Together the two groups will capitalize on MJFF’s expertise in Parkinson’s drug development to ensure that the funds are allocated to the projects closest or most critical to tangibly impacting patients’ lives.
Todd Sherer, PhD, MJFF CEO, said, “There is a strong base of promising Parkinson’s research in Australia — since 2000, MJFF has invested $1.6 million (U.S.) in Australian research projects. Collaborating with the Shake It Up Foundation will allow both of our groups to maximize the impact of capital raised from the Australian Parkinson’s community to speed better treatments and a cure to Parkinson’s patients.”
The Michael J. Fox Foundation, founded in 2000, and the Shake It Up Foundation Australia, founded in 2011, share a mission to make Parkinson’s disease a thing of the past. Also driving the two organizations is a commitment to leverage donor-raised resources for potentially transformative research — sooner rather than later.
All funds raised by the Shake It Up Foundation will be directed toward research efforts in Australia, with the help of Team Fox Australia, which supports individuals who raise funds and awareness for Parkinson’s in their own communities. MJFF will provide scientific oversight and grant management of the PPMI study and any other funded projects with the goal of enabling the Shake It Up Foundation’s funding to reach its target — improved therapies for Parkinson’s — more quickly and with greater impact.
“Through Shake It Up and Team Fox, we want to fund strategic research that will help find a cure for a condition that not only affects patients but up to one million families and friends in Australia alone,” said Clyde Campbell.
PPMI is The Michael J. Fox Foundation’s landmark five-year clinical study to find biomarkers of Parkinson’s disease progression — game changers in the development of disease-modifying treatments for Parkinson’s. The international study is already under way at 19 sites in the United States and Europe.
“By broadening the study population for PPMI to Australia, we’re optimistic that we will increase our chances to quickly identify universally relevant biomarkers,” said Sherer. The foundations hope to launch PPMI at clinical sites in Australia by 2012.
“Meaningful partnerships are at the heart of our Foundation’s efforts to speed a cure for Parkinson’s disease,” said Michael J. Fox. “Our collaboration with Clyde Campbell and the Shake It Up Foundation will maximize our joint efforts to build the base of high-impact Parkinson’s research in Australia and bring PPMI down under, making it a truly global study. We look forward to working together toward breakthroughs patients can feel in their everyday lives.”
About The Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Research
As the world’s largest private funder of Parkinson’s research, The Michael J. Fox Foundation is dedicated to accelerating a cure for Parkinson’s disease and improved therapies for those living with the condition today. The Foundation pursues its goals through an aggressively funded, highly targeted research program coupled with active global engagement of scientists, Parkinson’s patients, business leaders, clinical trial participants, donors and volunteers. In addition to funding more than $250 million in research to date, the Foundation has fundamentally altered the trajectory of progress toward a cure. Operating at the hub of worldwide Parkinson’s research, the Foundation forges groundbreaking collaborations with industry leaders, academic scientists and government research funders; increases the flow of participants into Parkinson’s disease clinical trials with its online tool, Fox Trial Finder; promotes Parkinson’s awareness through high-profile advocacy, events and outreach; and coordinates the grassroots involvement of thousands of Team Fox members around the world. Now through December 31, 2012, all new, returning and increased giving to The Michael J. Fox Foundation will be matched on a dollar-for-dollar basis with the $50-million Brin Wojcicki Challenge, launched by Sergey Brin and Anne Wojcicki.
About the Shake It Up Foundation Australia
The Shake It Up Foundation Australia is a not-for-profit organization established in 2011 to promote and focus on Parkinson’s disease research in Australia. Clyde Campbell, CEO of Machinery Automation & Robotics in New South Wales, launched the organization after he was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease in 2009, with the goal to increase awareness and funding toward finding a cure. As a community-funded charity, the Shake It Up Foundation relies on its partners and supporters in its efforts to deliver better treatments, prevention strategies and, ultimately, a cure.
For more information, visit: www.shakeitup.org.au.