Partnership Seeks to Improve Success of Parkinson’s Disease Clinical Trials

NIH spearheads efforts to speed disease-altering treatments

The National Institutes of Health (NIH) is teaming with government, biopharmaceutical, life science, and nonprofit organizations to overcome obstacles and increase success for advancing promising treatments for Parkinson’s disease (PD). Part of the NIH Accelerating Medicines Partnership (AMP), AMP PD will focus on identifying and validating promising biomarkers that may be useful in tracking the progression of PD and could serve as biological targets for the development of new drugs.

“Advancing treatments for Parkinson’s disease is hampered by insufficient understanding of biological networks; drugs aimed at seemingly promising therapeutic targets fail in clinical trials,” said NIH Director Francis S. Collins, MD, PhD. “By combining our expertise and resources, AMP PD partners hope to increase our collective odds of success in accelerating the development of effective treatments for a million Americans who suffer from this debilitating disease.”

Parkinson’s disease is a chronic and progressive neurological disorder that largely affects movement and balance, although a subset of people with PD also exhibit cognitive deficits. Due to increased life expectancies worldwide, the number of people with PD is expected to nearly double by the year 2030, which will lead to a significant increase in health care costs. Despite considerable ongoing translational and clinical research efforts, no disease-modifying drugs have yet been approved for PD.

AMP PD partners include Celgene, GlaxoSmithKline, The Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Research, Pfizer, Sanofi, and Verily. These organizations will invest a combined total of $12 million over five years through the Foundation for the NIH, which will manage the project. This total includes $2 million of in-kind contributions in software and services from Verily. NIH’s National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke will match the private sector funds with an additional $12 million contribution, pending availability of funds. The FDA will also be a critical partner in providing regulatory guidance.

Source: NIH; January 30, 2018.