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Michael J. Fox Foundation Awards $2.1 Million to Drive Six Industry Teams' Pre-Clinical Development of Neuroprotective Parkinson's Therapies
Date:1/19/2010

NEW YORK, Jan. 19 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- As part of its mission to speed development of transformative treatments for Parkinson's disease, The Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson's Research announced a total of $2.1 million in awards to six biotech and pharmaceutical companies under its industry-exclusive Therapeutics Development Initiative (TDI). The funding will drive pre-clinical projects pushing forward investigations of promising neuroprotective therapeutic targets for Parkinson's.

Three teams will focus on strategies to address inflammation and oxidative stress, while two will investigate ways to target the Parkinson's-implicated protein alpha-synuclein (including FoldRx Pharmaceuticals' continuing investigation of small-molecule drug candidates to inhibit alpha-synuclein toxicity, funded by MJFF since 2007). The remaining team will investigate HDACs, a family of enzymes that have been shown to enhance expression of potential protective factors in preclinical models of PD and may also regulate clearance of toxic proteins.

While MJFF welcomes applications from industry researchers under all of its programs, 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 in the

SOURCE Michael J. Fox Foundation
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