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Parkinson’s Foundation Spotlights Latest Research

New ideas include oral-film apomorphine and erythropoietin compounds

According to a new report, the Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Research (MJFF), headquartered in New York, has selected five promising research projects for presentation to industry groups who may wish to invest in further development.

By connecting industry leaders with studies needing additional investment, the MJFF aims to drive promising research in Parkinson’s disease (PD) through the pipeline of drug development and eventually into patients’ hands.

The following projects have been selected for the MJFF Partnering Program for 2014:

  • Cynapsus Therapeutics is conducting a clinical study of an oral, thin-film strip reformulation of apomorphine for the acute rescue of the “off” motor symptoms of PD. After positive results were reported from an initial study that compared the film strip with the available subcutaneous injection, a phase II clinical study is being conducted to examine the effect of the new formulation on relieving “off” episodes during a single day.
  • Focused Ultrasound Foundation is investigating 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 it 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 is conducting pre-clinical testing of MM-201, an orally bioavailable small-molecule activator of a neurotrophic growth factor, to restore function or to slow the progression of PD. Previous research showed that this treatment restored motor function in a model of PD.
  • Neuropore Therapies is conducting pre-clinical testing of NPT200-11, a small novel molecule shown to reduce the accumulation of alpha-synuclein in the brains of animals, thereby reducing neuroinflammation and neurodegeneration and improving motor function. Neuropore also conducted early dose-finding toxicology studies in a PD model.
  • STATegics, Inc. is conducting pre-clinical testing of its erythropoietin (EPO) allomimetic compounds to protect against the loss of dopaminergic neurons. In previous research, the agonists demonstrated potent, selective activation of the tissue-protective EPOR/CD131 receptor and neuroprotective effects in primary neurons. The compounds also demonstrated a favorable safety profile and penetrance to the brain at pharmacologically relevant concentrations.

To date, MJFF has funded more than $450 million in research, more than $102 million of which was directed to more than 230 projects led by industry partners.

Source: PR Newswire; August 12, 2014.

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