We’re here for the cure. Everything we do is to move us closer to that goal. But we can’t do it without you. By “cure”, Cure Parkinson’s means disease-modifying therapy or therapies. Cure Parkinson’s does not fund research which is directed only to symptomatic relief. This means that the research we fund must aim to slow, stop or reverse underlying disease progression.

What research priorities have been identified and why?
  • Due to our urgency requirement, we prioritise research which has potential to translate into the clinic within five years.
  • One priority is therefore to fund and support promising clinical trials. This includes funding for trials themselves and pre-clinical research to support potential trials.
  • It can also include funding any other research supporting or accelerating clinical trials and their outcomes,
    including clinical trial design, research into exploratory outcome measures, cohort definition, patient stratification, genetic data collection (e.g. bio-banking of samples), flexible bridging support (extension funding) for trials running into difficulties, screening libraries with appropriate assays, carrying out epidemiological studies, novel approaches to treatment or new methods of treatment delivery.
  • However, Cure Parkinson’s is not restricted to clinical trial-related work. We will consider funding for other
    important promising (laboratory and non-clinical) research which has potential to lead to a cure for Parkinson’s.
  • From time to time, we may issue a public call for applications for funding in respect of research addressing a particular issue, to reflect a need identified by Cure Parkinson’s. Such applications are scrutinised by our Research Committee to the same degree.
  • More widely, our aim to cure Parkinson’s (i.e. slow, stop or reverse) can include potential for preventing or delaying the onset of the condition, although prevention and delay alone are not priorities for Cure Parkinson’s: we seek to cure those living with Parkinson’s now.
How are applications assessed?
  • In the context above, applications for funding are assessed on a scientific and technical level by our Research Committee, which provides its recommendations to our Trustee Board. More detail for applicants is provided on the Cure Parkinson’s website. The trustees make final decisions on funding based on these recommendations, the level of funds available and any other relevant factors including commercial issues.
Our International Linked Clinical Trials (iLCT) programme: a priority for Cure Parkinson’s
  • It follows from the above that a priority of Cure Parkinson’s (rather than our Research Committee) is to support our International Linked Clinical Trial (iLCT) programme, which is aimed at clinical evaluation of pre-existing drugs for use against Parkinson’s.
  • This is an initiative of Cure Parkinson’s supported and co-led by Cure Parkinson’s and Van Andel Institute
    (VAI) in Michigan, US. The independent iLCT Committee (a committee established by Cure Parkinson’s) selects and prioritises drugs for clinical evaluation, from candidates identified by Cure Parkinson’s as having potential.
  • A priority of the charity is to identify potential iLCT drugs, facilitate assessment and prioritisation by the iLCT Committee, and encourage, direct or commission focused work needed to enable iLCT drugs transfer to the Parkinson’s clinic. This can include funding trials themselves as well as critical pre-clinical work required for progress to the clinic.
  • Cure Parkinson’s views iLCT as a promising source of drug candidates for the cure of Parkinson’s. However, it is
    important to stress that all applications for research funding (whether or not related to iLCT) are assessed by our Research Committee before making recommendations to the trustees. All applications (iLCT or not) are scrutinised by our Research Committee to the same degree.
  • Further information on the iLCT process is provided on the Cure Parkinson’s website or available from Cure Parkinson’s on request. Researchers interested in working with an iLCT-prioritised compound are
    encouraged to contact Cure Parkinson’s Director of Research & Development.
How does the charity fund research?
  • The charity awards grants of funding for research projects pursuant to contractual terms (its terms and
    conditions) agreed prior to the start of work.
  • For any particular project, funding can be provided solely by Cure Parkinson’s or partially by Cure Parkinson’s alongside other funder(s).
  • Whenever funding is provided by Cure Parkinson’s (in full or partially), grants are only awarded by Cure Parkinson’s when the charity has cleared dedicated funds sufficient to pay the full extent of its grant. In practice, funds are paid in stages, periodically in arrears.
  • If funding is provided partially by Cure Parkinson’s alongside others, the grant by Cure Parkinson’s is conditional upon the applicant receiving contractual commitment for the full extent of the funding required for the project.
  • Cure Parkinson’s does not fund work which is the subject of funding from others.
  • Cure Parkinson’s has supported projects costed at £50,000 to £2,500,000 (alone or in collaboration with other funders), with durations of between 1-3 years.
  • Cure Parkinson’s raises money for such funding from charitable donations of individuals, institutions, trusts and corporates. Cure Parkinson’s does not receive any funding from any national government or state funding body.
  • In this regard, Cure Parkinson’s can receive money pursuant to match- funding arrangements whereby funds are received by Cure Parkinson’s and form part of Cure Parkinson’s own funding commitment to researchers. An example of such an arrangement is Cure Parkinson’s match-funding arrangement with VAI worth USD 4.5 million over three years. The charity does not generally pay for central overheads associated with a research project.
  • The charity is also willing to sponsor workshops and/or meetings on important Parkinson’s research and clinical trial-related issues. For example, we have organised and/or supported meetings and conferences on
    neurotrophic factors, gene therapy and repurposing of chemical compounds.
Who does the charity fund?
  • Cure Parkinson’s primarily funds academic or research institutions.
  • We also fund commercial entities (especially SMEs) in respect of critical translational work on compounds of promise in Parkinson’s that would not otherwise be the company’s highest priority for Parkinson’s, due to funding or other indication priorities.
Where does the charity fund research?
  • Cure Parkinson’s funds research worldwide.
When will the grant be awarded?
  • Grant applications are encouraged four times per year, immediately prior to scheduled Research Committee meetings. Detailed information is available on Cure Parkinson’s website.
  • The charity’s in-house research team has deep knowledge of Parkinson’s, potential curative pathways and clinical trial procedure. We can discuss any potential funding application prior to submission, including discussion of potential involvement in the iLCT programme. All new enquiries should be made to our Deputy CEO Helen Matthews at helen@cureparkinsons.org.uk
  • During the progress of a project funded by Cure Parkinson’s, researchers may make enquiries of the charity’s in-house research team in any significant issues arising in the project. Researchers will also be required to report to Cure Parkinson’s at least every six months and answer reasonable requests from Cure Parkinson’s for further information.

This strategy will be reviewed in early 2024.