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Rhythm Awarded $1.35 Million from The Michael J. Fox Foundation to Advance Clinical Development of RM-131 for Refractory Constipation in Parkinson's Disease
Date:9/10/2013

BOSTON, Sept. 10, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Rhythm announced today that The Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson's Research (MJFF) has awarded a $1.35 million research grant to Rhythm to help fund a Phase 2 clinical trial of RM-131, the company's novel ghrelin agonist, for the treatment of refractory constipation in patients with Parkinson's disease (PD). This study expands the ongoing Phase 2 clinical program for RM-131 for the treatment of both upper and lower gastrointestinal (GI) functional disorders.

"As we work toward a cure for Parkinson's, alleviating the symptoms of disease is our best approach to improve quality of life for the millions living with PD. Development of a treatment for painful and debilitating constipation will have significant meaning to this population," said Maurizio Facheris, MD, MJFF associate director of research programs.

Constipation is common among people with Parkinson's, with studies reporting more than 50% of PD patients suffering from moderate to severe constipation. Many of these patients are refractory to existing therapy. In addition, GI dysfunction in PD can affect the upper GI tract, resulting in gastroparesis. Overall, the symptoms of upper and lower GI functional disorders can be debilitating and disruptive to the lives of PD patients and, in addition, may undermine the GI absorption of L-DOPA in the intestine, interfering with this drug's effectiveness. Approximately one million people in the U.S. are living with Parkinson's disease.

"Refractory constipation is a significant issue in Parkinson's disease, and this first study of RM-131 in Parkinson's patients is focused on this disorder," said Keith Gottesdiener, MD, CEO of Rhythm. "As we continue our work to advance RM-131 in the clinic, we are excited to join with The Michael J. Fox Foundation to address this important unmet need in Parkinson's disease."

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