After a year of disruption, clinical research restarted mid-year 2021 and lab-based research got back on track. Cure Parkinson’s is delighted to report that it invested significant funds into research in 2021.
Our recent funding is focused on three key areas:
- Preclinical work ensuring a robust pipeline of relevant drugs to progress into clinical trials
- Infrastructure support to enable the smooth running of those clinical trials
- Further clinical trials of drugs with the potential to slow, stop or reverse Parkinson’s.
New generation diabetes drugs for Parkinson’s
Cure Parkinson’s has long been involved in testing diabetes drugs in people with Parkinson’s because of their neuroprotective effects. Three diabetes drugs currently being clinically tested through our International Linked Clinical Trials programme (iLCT) are exenatide, liraglutide and lixisenatide.
Since the development of exenatide, a new generation of drugs targeting more specific biological pathways in diabetes are available. These ‘second-generation’ drugs are much more effective than exenatide in treating diabetes, and so we think these drugs may also be more effective in slowing down Parkinson’s.
Clinical and biomarker data analysis of type 2 diabetes and Parkinson’s
Many studies have indicated that Parkinson’s and diabetes are linked; hence, it is therefore plausible that treatment with diabetes drugs may lessen Parkinson’s severity. This one year data investigation project aims to better understand the links between diabetes and Parkinson’s.
Pre-clinical evaluation of Lonafarnib (an iLCT prioritised drug) as a treatment for Parkinson’s
A protein called alpha-synuclein is known to build up and clump together to form abnormal toxic masses known as Lewy Bodies in the brain cells (neurons) of people with Parkinson’s.
A research team at Northwestern University, Michigan under Dr Joseph Mazulli recently discovered a novel method of removing Lewy Bodies and improving neuron health; and Cure Parkinson’s is funding further investigations of this drug.
Funding infrastructure to support clinical trials of the future:
Creation of a Parkinson’s Study Group in the UK
We are delighted to be funding the establishment of a Parkinson’s Study Group in the UK, led by Professor Oliver Bandmann at the University of Sheffield, to enhance the UK’s international reputation for conducting high quality clinical research. This group will strengthen the network of research active clinicians; and synchronise clinical research efforts, streamline contracts, research and development approval processes, support recruitment and provide a strong national support structure for future trials.
PD Frontline: Identifying and grouping 3,000 people with Parkinson’s to support recruitment into upcoming clinical trials
This Cure Parkinson’s funded project began in January 2020. PD Frontline is an online genetic testing and surveying study for people with Parkinson’s and has to date recruited over 1000 participants, creating a clinical cohort of ‘trial-ready’ people for genetic studies to be supported by Cure Parkinson’s in the near future.
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