NEWYORK, NY — The Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Research has awarded research teams at nine biotech and pharmaceutical companies a total of $3.8 million for pre-clinical Parkinson’s drug development projects. Funded investigations aim to push forward novel neuroprotective and improved symptomatic therapies as well as new strategies for addressing complications of treatment.
While MJFF accepts applications from industry under all of its programs, the Therapeutics Development Initiative (TDI) — first launched in 2006 — is the Foundation’s only industry-exclusive funding stream. It is a key element of MJFF’s strategy to ‘de-risk’ preclinical PD research for biotech and pharmaceutical companies, thus expanding industry investment in Parkinson’s therapeutic development and helping push the most promising research to the next stage.
Projects selected for funding are listed below. Detailed information, including grant abstracts and researcher bios, is available on the Foundation’s Searchable Database of Funded Grants. As with all MJFF grants, full funding is contingent on the achievement of predetermined, specific milestones and on researchers’ agreement to make the results of their work available to the Parkinson’s research community.
Pharmacodynamics of ReS9-S7, a first-in-class, disease-modifying drug candidate for treatment of Parkinson’s disease
Gerard Griffioen, PhD, NV reMYND, Leuven, Belgium
Exploring curcumin and curcumin derivatives as putative epigenetic targets of histone deacetylase (HDAC) inhibition in Parkinson’s disease
Lawrence Helson, MD, Sign Path Pharma, Inc., Quakertown, Pennsylvania
Assessment of the therapeutic efficacy of progranulin in a sub-chronic animal model of Parkinson’s disease
Denis Kay, PhD, Neurodyn, Inc., Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island, Canada
Validation of LRRK2 as a drug target for treatment of Parkinson’s disease using antisense technology
Alejandro Lloret, PhD, Isis Pharmaceuticals, Inc., Carlsbad, California
Optimising lead series of small molecule inhibitors of LRRK2 to deliver tool compounds and clinical development candidates
Alastair D. Reith, PhD, GlaxoSmithKline, United Kingdom
A novel approach to characterize the distribution of a potentially therapeutic dominant-negative inhibitor of tumor necrosis factor in pre-clinical models of PD, and predict the scalability for an effective delivery of therapy in the human brain
Lisa Lynn Shafer, PhD, Medtronic Neuromodulation, Minneapolis, Minnesota
Pre-clinical development of a Parkinson’s disease therapy using a glucagon-like peptide (GLP-1) receptor agonist
Kevin Tomaselli, PhD, Amylin Pharmaceuticals, Inc., San Diego, California
Symptomatic Approaches/Complications of Treatment
Effect of novel neuronal nicotonic receptor compounds on treatment of levodopa-induced dyskinesia in Parkinson’s disease
Kristen Jordan, PhD, Targacept, Winston-Salem, North Carolina
Optimization of MOR antagonists for the treatment of L-DOPA-induced dyskinesias in Parkinson’s disease
Patrick Little, PhD, Adolor Corporation, Exton, Pennsylvania
TDI is launched bi-annually with applications accepted each spring and fall. It has been enthusiastically received by industry researchers. To date the Foundation has awarded $16.5 million total for 33 industry-led projects under the initiative.