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Michael J. Fox Foundation Announces $5.6-Million Award for Phase 2 Clinical Trial Studying Neuroprotective Potential of Inosine
Date:4/14/2008

NEW YORK, April 14 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The Michael J. Fox Foundation announced a $5.6-million award to drive a Phase 2 clinical trial to investigate the potential of inosine -- a naturally occurring chemical that gives rise to urate in the body -- to slow or stop the progression of Parkinson's disease.

The work is being funded under the Foundation's LEAPS (Linked Efforts to Accelerate Parkinson's Solutions) 2007 initiative. LEAPS 2007 was funded with a lead gift from the Edmond J. Safra Foundation, one of the most steadfast supporters of The Michael J. Fox Foundation since its inception.

Urate is a natural metabolite and major antioxidant in humans. Previous studies found that healthy people with higher urate levels in the blood had a reduced risk of developing PD. More recent work, including a study published today in the journal Archives of Neurology authored by two of the principal investigators on this LEAPS award, have linked higher urate levels to a possible slower progression of the disease.

The goals of this LEAPS award are to determine the safety of using inosine to raise urate levels, and to assess optimal dosage for therapeutic effect. Ninety people recently diagnosed with Parkinson's disease will be enrolled in a randomized, double-blind clinical trial to determine whether and at what dose inosine can safely elevate levels of urate in cerebrospinal fluid. Three months after enrollment, cerebrospinal fluid will be tested for urate levels. If a tolerable dose of inosine adequately increases urate in the cerebrospinal fluid, subjects will continue on treatment for up to two years to assess long-term safety.

"This project is precisely the sort of work that The Michael J. Fox Foundation exists to identify and drive forward for patients' benefit," said Katie Hood, the Foundation's CEO. "The study is based on interesting epidemiological observations, but because inosine is a publicly available compound, no corpo
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SOURCE Michael J. Fox Foundation
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