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Michael J. Fox Foundation Commits Up to $2 Million for PD Drug Development Under Target Validation 2008
Date:11/1/2007

NEW YORK, Nov. 1 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The Michael J. Fox Foundation (MJFF) for Parkinson's Research today announced the launch of its 2008 Target Validation effort. Under this annual program the Foundation will award up to $2 million in 2008 for projects designed to validate the therapeutic potential of scientific discoveries, pushing them one step closer to possible pharmaceutical industry investment and clinical trials.

"Target Validation is emblematic of our Foundation's aggressive, 'get-it done' approach to driving PD drug development and speeding delivery of treatments that can improve patients' quality of life," said Katie Hood, interim chief executive officer of MJFF. "Target Validation has a single purpose: to definitively assess the importance of promising targets by proving or disproving their druggability. This is a vital component of the Foundation's strategy to accelerate the pace of drug development by reducing industry's risk around investing in potential PD treatments."

Target Validation 2008 specifically seeks investigator-initiated applications to demonstrate that modulation of a specific cellular target (such as a gene or protein) results in a PD-relevant therapeutic response in an appropriate whole-animal mammalian model of PD. Of particular interest are targets whose manipulation holds the potential to treat the symptoms of PD, including both 'motor' and 'non-motor' symptoms such as cognitive dysfunction, autonomic dysfunction, sleep disorders and depression. Also of interest are targets that could be used to protect or restore degenerating neurons, as well as those that can treat complications of current PD treatments (e.g., dyskinesias).

This year, for the first time, MJFF has identified several Contract Research Organizations (CROs) to help applicants gather critical information essential for ensuring studies are appropriately designed to validate or invalidate targets, such as dosing amounts and brain bioava
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SOURCE Michael J. Fox Foundation
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