The research steps
Cure Parkinson’s has been at the forefront of exenatide’s journey since the start. We funded the first ever clinical study of exenatide in people with Parkinson’s. It was a year-long pilot study involving 45 volunteers – half of whom had twice-daily injections of exenatide on top of their normal medicines. Those who took exenatide did not experience the decline in movement that we normally see due to Parkinson’s. In fact, they even improved a little. Crucially, some of these benefits were still present when measured one year after they’d stopped taking exenatide, giving hope that the medicine had interfered with the underlying disease process, rather than simply masking the symptoms.
The results of this trial were presented to a group of the world’s top Parkinson’s experts at a meeting of our International Linked Clinical Trials (iLCT) programme. At that event, scores of existing medicines with potential application to Parkinson’s were evaluated. Exenatide was singled out as the top priority for advancing into further clinical trials.
In 2017 the results of the larger, longer, and more robust phase 2 clinical study also showed a delay of motor symptom progression.
The results of the phase 2 trial were announced on the evening of the 3rd August 2017. Overnight, our goal of finding a cure for Parkinson’s was no longer considered to be fanciful, and people’s mindsets began to shift from ‘if’ to ‘when’Dr Simon Stott, Deputy Director of Resarch, Cure Parkinson’s