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Promising Parkinson's Disease Research Highlighted by The Michael J. Fox Foundation to Accelerate Drug Development

NEW YORK, July 11, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Research projects from five biopharmaceutical companies in the United States, Canada and Israel comprise the 2013 first half (1H 2013) of The Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson's Research (MJFF) Partnering Program. Among the most promising in the MJFF portfolio, Partnering Program participants' research projects are presented directly to industry groups who may wish to invest in further development of the project. By connecting industry leaders with those studies ripe for investment, the Foundation aims to drive forward promising research in Parkinson's disease (PD) through the pipeline of drug development and eventually into patients' hands.

Non-confidential overviews of the selected MJFF-funded projects are shared with industry contacts and more broadly via MJFF's Web site twice yearly in July and December (previously quarterly).

Selected for the MJFF Partnering Program 1H 2013 are:

Disease-Modifying Research

  • Ceregene's clinical research on a gene delivery approach to neurotrophic factors (which can have a restorative effect on degenerating neurons) did not meet its primary endpoint, but saw some effects on secondary measures that suggest some benefits. Ceregene continues to analyze this data to identify areas for future research.
  • MedGenesis' investigation of GDNF, a biological neurotrophic factor and potential disease-modifying therapy. MedGenesis has in-licensed the product from Amgen and has developed an enhanced delivery paradigm to overcome previous limitations.
  • NeuroPhage Pharmaceuticals' study of NPT002, a potential disease-modifying therapy for PD that targets alpha-synuclein.  NPT002 binds, disaggregates and prevents the formation of multiple amyloidogenic structures. This novel approach has increased therapeutic potential as it targets both early amyloid assemblies as well as pre-existing aggregates.

Symptomatic Research

  • Cynapsus Therapeutics' development of APL-130277, a novel formulation of the drug apomorphine, as a rescue medication for intermittent OFF episodes in PD. APL-130277 is a thin film strip that dissolves under the tongue.
  • NeuroDerm's clinical research on continuous administration of levodopa and carbidopa through a "pump-patch." This technology could maintain continuous and constant concentration of levodopa in the blood, which should significantly decrease motor fluctuations and possibly reverse dyskinesia.

To date, the Foundation has funded $325 million in research, more than $84 million of which has been directed to over 185 unique projects led by industry partners.

For more information on the MJFF Partnering Program 1H 2013 participants and previously featured grantees, visit The MJFF Research Partnerships team can be reached at

SOURCE The Michael J. Fox Foundation
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