Research projects from five groups active in Parkinson's research comprise the 2014 first half (1H 2014) of The Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson's Research (MJFF) Partnering Program. Among the most promising in the MJFF portfolio, Partnering Program projects are presented directly to industry groups who may wish to invest in further development. By connecting industry leaders with those studies ripe for investment, the Foundation aims to drive forward promising research in Parkinson's disease (PD) through the pipeline of drug development and eventually into patients' hands.
Non-confidential overviews of the selected MJFF-funded projects are shared with industry contacts and more broadly via MJFF's website twice yearly.
Selected for the MJFF Partnering Program 1H 2014 are:
Cynapsus Therapeutics, Inc.'s clinical study of an easy-to-use, oral, thin-film strip reformulation of apomorphine for the acute rescue of "off" motor symptoms of PD. Following positive results of its initial study comparing it to the available subcutaneous injection, CTH-105 is a Phase II clinical study to examine the effect of the compound on relieving "off" episodes over a single day.
Focused Ultrasound Foundation's clinical testing of focused ultrasound as a noninvasive approach for the treatment of dyskinesia, a side effect of long-time use of PD drug therapies. Destruction of a small volume of tissue near the center of the brain can reduce dyskinesia, but typically requires surgery or a high dose of focused radiation. This study is testing the safety and efficacy of ultrasound as an alternative, noninvasive procedure.
M3 Biotechnology Inc.'s pre-clinical testing of its MM-201, an orally bioavailable small molecule activator of a neurotrophic growth factor, to restore function or slow progression of PD. Previous research showed treatment restored motor function in a model of Parkinson's.
Neuropore Therapies, Inc.'s pre-clinical testing of NPT200-11, a small novel molecule shown to reduce accumulation of alpha-synuclein in the brains of PD model and thereby reduce neuroinflammation and neurodegeneration and improve motor function. Neuropore also conducted early dose range-finding toxicology studies in models.
STATegics, Inc.'s pre-clinical testing of its EPO Allomimetic compounds to protect against loss of dopaminergic neurons. Previous research showed the agonists demonstrated potent, selective activation of the tissue-protective EPOR/CD131 receptor and neuroprotective effects in primary neurons. The compounds also demonstrate a favorable safety profile and penetrance to the brain at pharmacologically relevant concentrations.
To date, the Foundation has funded more than $450 million in research, more than $102 million of which has been directed to over 230 unique projects led by industry partners.
For more information on the MJFF Partnering Program 1H 2014 participants and previously featured grantees, visit https://www.michaeljfox.org/research/opportunities-for-industry/partnering-program.html.
The MJFF Research Partnerships team can be reached at ResearchPartnerships@michaeljfox.org.