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Michael J. Fox Foundation Awards $3.8 Million To Drive Nine Industry Partnerships For Pre-Clinical Parkinson's Drug Development

NEW YORK, July 21 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson's Research has awarded research teams at nine biotech and pharmaceutical companies a total of $3.8 million for pre-clinical Parkinson's drug development projects. Funded investigations aim to push forward novel neuroprotective and improved symptomatic therapies as well as new strategies for addressing complications of treatment.

While MJFF accepts applications from industry under all of its programs, the Therapeutics Development Initiative (TDI) - first launched in 2006 - is the Foundation's only industry-exclusive funding stream. It is a key element of MJFF's strategy to 'de-risk' preclinical PD research for biotech and pharmaceutical companies, thus expanding industry investment in Parkinson's therapeutic development and helping push the most promising research to the next stage.

Projects selected for funding are listed below. Detailed information, including grant abstracts and researcher bios, is available on the Foundation's Searchable Database of Funded Grants. As with all MJFF grants, full funding is contingent on the achievement of predetermined, specific milestones and on researchers' agreement to make the results of their work available to the Parkinson's research community.

Neuroprotective Approaches

Pharmacodynamics of ReS9-S7, a first-in-class, disease-modifying drug candidate for treatment of Parkinson's disease

Gerard Griffioen, PhD, NV reMYND, Leuven, Belgium

Exploring curcumin and curcumin derivatives as putative epigenetic targets of histone deacetylase (HDAC) inhibition in Parkinson's disease

Lawrence Helson, MD, Sign Path Pharma, Inc., Quakertown, Pennsylvania

Assessment of the therapeutic efficacy of progranulin in a sub-chronic animal model of Parkinson's disease

Denis Kay, PhD, Neurodyn, Inc., Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island, Canada

Validation of LRRK2 as a drug target for treatment of Parkinson's disease using antisense technology

Alejandro Lloret, PhD, Isis Pharmaceuticals, Inc., Carlsbad, California

Optimizing lead series of small molecule inhibitors of LRRK2 to deliver tool compounds and clinical development candidates

Alastair D. Reith, PhD, GlaxoSmithKline, United Kingdom

A novel approach to characterize the distribution of a potentially therapeutic dominant-negative inhibitor of tumor necrosis factor in pre-clinical models of PD, and predict the scalability for an effective delivery of therapy in the human brain

Lisa Lynn Shafer, PhD, Medtronic Neuromodulation, Minneapolis, Minnesota

Pre-clinical development of a Parkinson's disease therapy using a glucagon-like peptide (GLP-1) receptor agonist

Kevin Tomaselli, PhD, Amylin Pharmaceuticals, Inc., San Diego, California

Symptomatic Approaches/Complications of Treatment

Effect of novel neuronal nicotonic receptor compounds on treatment of levodopa-induced dyskinesia in Parkinson's disease

Kristen Jordan, PhD, Targacept, Winston-Salem, North Carolina

Optimization of MOR antagonists for the treatment of L-DOPA-induced dyskinesias in Parkinson's disease

Patrick Little, PhD, Adolor Corporation, Exton, Pennsylvania

TDI is launched bi-annually with applications accepted each spring and fall. It has been enthusiastically received by industry researchers. To date the Foundation has awarded $16.5 million total for 33 industry-led projects under the initiative.

About The Michael J. Fox Foundation

The Michael J. Fox Foundation is dedicated to finding a cure for Parkinson's disease through an aggressively funded research agenda and to ensuring the development of improved therapies for those living with Parkinson's today. To date, the Foundation has funded $149 million in research. For more information on TDI and the Foundation's industry strategy, please visit

SOURCE Michael J. Fox Foundation
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