NEW YORK, NY — The Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Research announced awards totaling approximately $10.1 million for four new clinical trials and 14 pre-clinical therapeutic development projects. The funding includes $2.5 million to drive five new clinical studies under the Clinical Intervention Awards, one of the Foundation’s Edmond J. Safra Core Programs for PD Research.
Grantees under the 2010 Clinical Intervention Awards are:
- Charlotte Keywood, Addex Pharmaceuticals: Dr. Keywood will test a candidate drug that has alleviated dyskinesia in pre-clinical models of PD by targeting a specific glutamate receptor known as mGluR5. This phase 2, double-blind/placebo-controlled study could lead to a new class of treatment for the debilitating side effect of long-term dopamine replacement therapy.
- Benzi Kluger, University of Colorado, Denver: Dr. Kluger will lead an investigation of acupuncture to treat PD-related fatigue and motor symptoms of the disease. This is one of the first placebo-controlled clinical studies of acupuncture in Parkinson’s.
Two separate awardees will independently work on novel formulations of levodopa designed to create an easier treatment regimen for patients while also lessening the complications and symptoms of PD that are believed to be exacerbated by extreme fluctuations in blood levels of levodopa:
- Verne Cowles, Depomed, Inc.: Dr. Cowles will lead a Phase 1 study testing a new formulation of levodopa/carbidopa that may enable less-frequent dosing.
- Sheila Oren, NeuroDerm, Inc. (Israel): Dr. Oren will test a new skin patch that administers carbidopa continuously, keeping blood levels of the drug stable over time.
For information on the 15 pre-clinical therapeutic development projects receiving awards totaling $2 million, please visit PD Online Research.
In addition to today’s announcement, the Foundation recently launched the Parkinson’s Progression Markers Initiative, a landmark clinical study seeking biomarkers of Parkinson’s disease. The Foundation has committed $8.6 million to PPMI to date.