NEWYORK, NY — The Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Research seeks applications from industry researchers under its $5-million Therapeutics Development Initiative (TDI). The Foundation also announced that, going forward, TDI will be launched bi-annually. Applications will be accepted twice a year, with up to $2.5 million in funding available each spring and another $2.5 million available in the fall.
First launched in 2006, TDI is designed exclusively to support and bolster industry-focused efforts on Parkinson’s research as part of MJFF’s focus on ‘de-risking’ preclinical PD research for biotech and pharmaceutical companies — thus expanding and catalyzing industry investments in Parkinson’s drug development. By adding MJFF resources to companies’ own, the Foundation aims to make Parkinson’s therapies a more attractive bet and help to push research further along the pipeline.
Years of basic research in cell-based studies and animal models have uncovered numerous promising biological targets that show initial promise to impact the symptoms and progression of Parkinson’s disease. But translating these fundamental discoveries into practical treatments requires focused and concerted effort to identify and optimize realistic strategies for eventual human testing.
Under the 2009 TDI program, MJFF primarily seeks to support pre-clinical development of Parkinson’s disease therapies that have the potential for fundamentally altering disease course and/or improving treatment of symptoms above and beyond current standards of care. Proposals must focus on key and critical pre-clinical studies necessary for developing, optimizing and evaluating therapeutic strategies that, if successful, can move into human testing.
The first three years of TDI were enthusiastically received by industry researchers. To date the Foundation has awarded nearly $12.8 million total under the initiative for 24 industry-led projects.