The Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson's Research has announced awards totaling more than $10 million for four new clinical trials and fourteen pre-clinical therapeutic development projects designed to determine the effectiveness of new treatments, uncover ways to alleviate Parkinson's symptoms, and reduce drug-related side effects of the disease.
The funding includes a total of $2.5 million through the foundation's Clinical Awards program for five new studies. Grantees include Charlotte Keywood of Addex Pharmaceuticals for a trial to test a candidate drug that has alleviated dyskinesia in pre-clinical models; Benzi Kluger of the University of Colorado, Denver, who will lead an investigation of acupuncture to treat PD-related fatigue and motor symptoms of the disease; and Verne Cowles of Depomed, Inc. and Sheila Oren of Isareal-based NeuroDerm, Inc., who will work independently on novel formulations of the drugs levodopa and carbidopa designed to create an easier treatment regimen and reduce their side effects.
In addition to the announcement, the foundation recently launched a Parkinson's Progression Markers Initiative, a landmark five-year clinical study that aims to identify biomarkers of Parkinson's disease progression in persons newly diagnosed with the disease. The identification of reliable biomarkers has significantly increased the odds of successfully developing new therapies like those proposed by the recipients of the 2010 Clinical Intervention Awards.
For a complete list of funded projects, visit the MJFF Web site.