The Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson's Research has announced a $50 million challenge grant from the Brin Wojcicki Foundation in support of its efforts to reshape drug development for Parkinson's disease.
If the challenge, which will match all new or increased gifts to MJFF on a one-to-one basis through the end of 2012, is met, Google co-founder Sergey Brin and his wife, Anne Wojcicki, who co-founded the biotechnology company 23andMe, will have contributed more than $130 million to MJFF since 2004. In addition to providing general research support, the funds will enable the organization to lead a global development effort focused on the LRRK2 gene, the most significant known genetic contributor to Parkinson's disease.
"Anne and Sergey's generosity already has resulted in seminal contributions to the LRRK2 field by MJFF-funded researchers and an unprecedented level of collaboration among all players," said the organization's CEO, Todd Sherer. "We are excited to take on this challenge — which we hope will inspire others to give generously — so that we can deploy similar strategies in other high-priority areas of PD research."