Skip to main content

Michael J. Fox Foundation Partnering on Program to Expand Molecular Investigation of Parkinson's Disease

  • MJFF a partner in National Institutes of Health public-private Accelerating Medicines Partnership Parkinson's Disease (AMP PD) program.
  • Program funds investigation of data and biosamples from MJFF-led Parkinson's Progression Markers Initiative and other studies.
  • Data and analysis from AMP PD made available to qualified researchers to accelerate discovery and replication.

NEW YORK (January 30, 2018) -- The Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson's Research (MJFF) announces its involvement in a public-private partnership expanding use of cutting-edge molecular profiling technology to advance understanding, measurement and treatment of Parkinson's disease. This project grows work ongoing in the MJFF-led Parkinson's Progression Markers Initiative (PPMI) and builds on the National Institutes of Health (NIH) Accelerating Medicines Partnership model.

MJFF and five life sciences companies are contributing a combined total of $12 million over five years to AMP PD through the Foundation for the National Institutes of Health (FNIH), which will also manage the project. NIH's National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS) will match the private sector funds with an additional $12 million contribution. The first phase of the project is an investigation of previously collected data and biosamples using state-of-the-art "omics" technologies (e.g., genomics, proteomics, metabolomics) to define the molecular fingerprint of Parkinson's disease.

"These technologies could allow us to tease out microscopic differences in people with Parkinson's, which we may use to develop objective measures of the disease and treatments to slow or stop the Parkinson's process," said MJFF CEO Todd Sherer, PhD. "Leveraging existing studies and partnering with the NIH and industry can move us faster toward these goals."

The partners initially will fund analysis of data and biosamples from (i) PPMI; (ii) the NINDS Parkinson's Disease Biomarker Program; (iii) the Fox Investigation for New Discovery of Biomarkers (BioFIND) study, funded by MJFF and NINDS; and (iv) the NINDS-supported Harvard Biomarkers Study.

In line with MJFF and NIH open-access policies, the partners will make data and analyses generated through this program publicly available to the broad biomedical community through the AMP PD Knowledge Portal, developed and made possible by an in-kind contribution of software and services by Verily.

"AMP PD is the latest iteration of our longstanding alliance with The Michael J. Fox Foundation and would not have been possible without previous investment in these large-scale studies and the contributions of thousands of research volunteers," said NINDS Director Walter Koroshetz, MD.

The Parkinson's Progression Markers Initiative is an $80-million longitudinal biomarkers study using standardized methods to collect robust data and a multitude of biosamples from more than 1,500 volunteers enrolled at 33 clinical sites around the world. PPMI is made possible by investment from 21 industry partners (including three also involved in AMP PD) and individual donors, including Lily Safra and the Edmond J. Safra Foundation. The study makes its data and biosamples available to qualified researchers for accelerated discovery and replication.

"This partnership with NIH and industry funders is allowing us to do more tests in more samples, including across studies, which helps validate findings," said Dr. Sherer.

NIH launched the Accelerating Medicines Partnership program in February 2014 with initiatives focused on Alzheimer's disease, type 2 diabetes, and rheumatoid arthritis and lupus. The FNIH manages steering committees that oversee disease-specific research plans. More information is on the AMP website.

About The Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson's Research
As the world's largest nonprofit 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 $750 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.

For more information, visit

Media Contact:

Amy Schultz

We use cookies to ensure that you get the best experience. By continuing to use this website, you indicate that you have read our Terms of Service and Privacy Policy.