Since 2020, the Cure Parkinson’s research team has collaborated annually with Parkinson’s advocates and The Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Research to present an update on the clinical trials landscape for Parkinson’s. The 2023 report is published in the Journal of Parkinson’s Disease.

Our report found a total of 139 active clinical trials in 2022 aimed towards developing new drugs for Parkinson’s. Despite this being the lowest number of trials observed since 2020, we did see the highest proportion overall of potentially disease-modifying treatments (45%) compared to those directed towards treatments for symptom management. These clinical trials are aimed at slowing, stopping or reversing Parkinson’s progression and include a diverse range of treatment options, from the repurposing of diabetes drugs like exenatide to cell transplantation.

Innovation continues to drive Parkinson’s research, with 42% of trials involving newly created (or ‘novel’) drugs and a third involving drugs that are being repurposed from other diseases. Excitingly, we saw three new phase 3 trials for disease-modifying treatments begin in 2022, doubling the total observed in the previous year. However, only 14% of the total clinical trials underway were in phase 3, highlighting the ongoing challenge of progressing drugs onwards after phase 2.  This is something Cure Parkinson’s will continue to work closely on with researchers and industry in hopes of bringing new potential treatments closer to people with Parkinson’s.

Looking ahead, 89 trials are set to be completed in 2023 and results from these will provide valuable insight to inform and inspire future research. Overall, these trials involved almost 17,000 people with Parkinson’s around the world; this continued dedicated support and participation drives and facilitates the clinical trial landscape to continue to develop.

The full 2023 pipeline report is open access.

The Hope List by Dr Kevin McFarthing

The Hope List collated by Dr Kevin McFarthing details information about current potential therapies in research and clinical stages. Originally a PhD biochemist, Kevin now chairs the Patient and Public Involvement and Engagement group for the Edmond J Safra Accelerating Clinical Trials in Parkinson’s Disease programme; he sits on the Cure Parkinson’s Research Committee and is joint author of the annual pipeline paper. Kevin was diagnosed with Parkinson’s in 2012 at the age of 55.

*Note: The spreadsheet is via Google Drive and not always compatible with mobile devices. We would suggest viewing the spreadsheet on a laptop or similar.

Key highlights from the report

We’re delighted to see nearly 30% (15/52) of all potentially disease-modifying therapies for Parkinson’s in active clinical trial up until January 31 2023 have been evaluated by Cure Parkinson’s iLCT committee

Dr Simon Stott, Director of Research, Cure Parkinson’s

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