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The Michael J. Fox Foundation Announces $1.5 Million in Funding to Advance Development of Drug Targets for Disease-Modifying Parkinson's Disease Treatments
Date:11/30/2009

NEW YORK, Nov. 30 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson's Research (MJFF) today announced $1.5 million in total awards to six research teams working to develop potentially disease-modifying therapies for Parkinson's disease. The funding was awarded under the Novel Approaches to Drug Discovery for Parkinson's Disease program, made possible by funding from Elan Corporation, plc (NYSE: ELN), a neuroscience-based biotechnology company.

The Novel Approaches program is an important component of MJFF's overall strategy of providing critical resources to under-funded areas of the drug development pipeline. Novel Approaches seeks to advance the development of therapeutic targets that already have some promising initial data, while engaging industry partner Elan as a potential follow-on funder for those projects with the greatest potential to bring new, transformative treatments to people living with PD.

Awardees under Novel Approaches include both academic and industry scientists. Of the six awardees, two will target the protein alpha-synuclein, whose clumping is a hallmark of PD pathology. The remaining teams are developing technologies to prevent the degeneration of dopaminergic neurons, the main type of cell affected in PD, by focusing on the reduction of oxidative stress and the inhibition of JNK, a protein associated with cell death.

Projects selected for funding are listed below. Grant abstracts and researcher bios are also available on the Foundation's Web site, www.michaeljfox.org. The selection of awardees was made exclusively by the Foundation via its standard peer-review process.

Inhibition of brain-dependent nitric oxide (NO) over-production by isoform-selective NO synthase
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SOURCE The Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson's Research
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