Navigation Links
Michael J. Fox Foundation Awards $2.4 Million for Validation of Nine Promising Therapeutic Targets for Parkinson's Disease
Date:7/17/2008

NEW YORK, July 17 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson's Research today announced approximately $2.4 million in total funding to nine research teams under its Target Validation initiative. This annual MJFF program provides intellectual and financial resources to help push potential PD drug targets forward toward clinical trials and ultimately the nearly five million Parkinson's patients worldwide.

"The discovery of a new potential therapeutic target generates great excitement among patients and researchers," said Katie Hood, CEO of The Michael J. Fox Foundation. "But to attract an industry sponsor with the resources and expertise to chaperone it through optimization, preclinical work and ultimately clinical testing, that target needs a critical mass of evidence behind it, demonstrating that it is involved in the disease and that manipulating it impacts symptoms or progression. MJFF's Target Validation program helps accumulate this evidence, reducing the risk of investment for industry and building the case for prioritization of the most promising targets in the pipeline."

Target validation is an essential and historically under-resourced phase of drug development in which researchers work to determine whether a molecule or mechanism of interest is a true drug target. While researchers have continued to identify novel targets in recent years through genetic, biochemical and epidemiological studies, a lack of funding for validation studies has long been a major roadblock to the efficient translation of these discoveries into practical therapies that benefit people living with PD.

Projects funded in this cohort of Target Validation awardees fall into three categories: targets for therapies to alleviate symptoms of PD; approaches focused on dyskinesias, the excessive, uncontrollable movements brought on by long-term dopamine replacement therapy; and targets with potential to slow or stop progression of Parkinson's, something no currently approved treatment has been proven to do.

Two investigators will be continuing projects initiated under previous MJFF programs, reflecting the Foundation's desire to keep promising work moving forward quickly. Stephen F. Traynelis, Ph.D., of Emory University was funded under MJFF's Community Fast Track 2005 initiative to screen small-molecule compound libraries for molecules that inhibit a certain type of brain receptor -- called the NR2D-containing NMDA receptor -- in the basal ganglia, a part of the brain involved in Parkinson's disease. His new award will allow him to take this work to the next level, testing these molecules to see if they can reduce PD-like symptoms in rodent models. Kalipada Pahan, Ph.D., of Rush University is investigating a protein called NF-kB, which is involved in the inflammation process that some believe might trigger or promote continued loss of cells in the Parkinson's brain. Dr. Pahan has already shown that delivering specific inhibitors against NF-kB is neuroprotective in a rodent model of Parkinson's. He will now work to confirm his results in a non-human primate model of PD as the next step toward possible clinical trials.

Other investigators will be looking at various targets for possible relevance to therapeutic strategies for PD. Danny G. Winder, Ph.D., and Roger J. Colbran, Ph.D., both at Vanderbilt University and Ann M. Graybiel, Ph.D., at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology are each investigating new targets for possible roles in the development of dyskinesias. To identify strategies that could protect from loss of brain cells in PD, investigators Pamela J. McLean, Ph.D., of Massachusetts General Hospital (Harvard University), Malu G. Tansey, Ph.D., of University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center and Benjamin Wolozin, MD Ph.D., of Boston University School of Medicine will manipulate various proteins in PD animal models. Finally, Yvette F. Tache, Ph.D., of the University of California, Los Angeles, has developed a possible rodent model of PD-associated gastrointestinal (GI) dysfunction. She will use the model to test drugs that can alleviate this 'non-motor' symptom, which might also allow for better delivery of existing drugs such as levodopa that must pass through the GI tract to enter the bloodstream.

A complete list of researchers who were awarded grants under Target Validation 2007, including grant abstracts and researcher bios, is available at http://www.michaeljfox.org.

About The Michael J. Fox Foundation

Founded in 2000, The Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson's Research is dedicated to ensuring the development of a cure for Parkinson's disease within the decade through an aggressively funded research agenda. The Foundation has funded over $123 million in research to date.


'/>"/>
SOURCE Michael J. Fox Foundation
Copyright©2008 PR Newswire.
All rights reserved

Related medicine technology :

1. The Foundation for Biomedical Research Announces Winners of the 7th Annual Michael E. DeBakey Journalism Awards
2. Michael J. Fox Foundation Announces $5.6-Million Award for Phase 2 Clinical Trial Studying Neuroprotective Potential of Inosine
3. Michael J. Fox Foundation Commits up to $10 Million for Pre-Clinical Drug Development Under Therapeutics Development Initiative
4. New Michael J. Fox Foundation Initiative Will Drive Development of Web-Based Tools to Increase Patient Participation in Parkinsons Clinical Trials
5. Michael J. Fox Foundation Commits Up to $3 Million for Clinical Trials That Can Improve Treatment of Parkinsons Disease
6. Michael J. Fox Foundation Awards Up to $3 Million to Industry Teams to Jumpstart Promising PD Drug Development
7. PTC Therapeutics Announces $25 Million Award From Cystic Fibrosis Foundation Therapeutics for Development of PTC124
8. Childrens Brain Tumor Foundations Tissue Bank Consortium May Solve Dire Problem in Pediatric Cancer Research
9. Canopus BioPharma Strengthens its CB1400 Platform Technology for Mucositis and Oncology Treatments Through License Agreement With Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation
10. Quantum Immunologics, Inc. and the South Alabama Medical Science Foundation Announce an Early Clinical Evaluation of a Novel Immuno-therapeutic Vaccine for Treating Advanced Human Breast Carcinomas
11. Statement From the Lupus Foundation of America Regarding the Release of Top-Line Results From a Study of Rituxan for the Treatment of Lupus
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:12/8/2016)... Dec. 8, 2016  Pennsylvania Physician General Dr. ... and Alcohol Programs Gary Tennis released ... known as benzodiazepines, developed with the help of ... medications that are frequently prescribed for anxiety or ... used with opioid pain medications, benzodiazepines pose a ...
(Date:12/8/2016)... , December 8, 2016 Information products and ... metrics in Scopus , the world,s largest abstract and ... to comprehensive metrics for journals from over 5,000 publishers. The new ... journals to subscribe to and when to adjust a journal,s editorial ... , , ...
(Date:12/8/2016)... , December 8, 2016 According to ... Injection Pens Market is expected to be worth US$9.7 ... bn in 2015. Between the forecast years of 2016 and ... CAGR of 7.9%. The leading players operating in the global ... and Company, AstraZaneca plc., Biocon Ltd., and Sanofi S.A. Transparency ...
Breaking Medicine Technology:
(Date:12/8/2016)... ... December 08, 2016 , ... Healthcare is ... Dr. Botelho advocates for the mass media launching of story movements to highlight ... to share their unfortunate experiences; such a movement can generate the network power ...
(Date:12/8/2016)... ... December 08, 2016 , ... The Dianne ... offices headquartered in Hamilton County, is embarking on a charity drive with the ... finding new homes for orphaned or neglected senior dogs in the Cincinnati region, ...
(Date:12/8/2016)... ... December 08, 2016 , ... Coppin Insurance Agency, an insurance and financial planning ... the Cape Coral area, is embarking on a charity drive with the goal of ... The Harry Chapin Food Bank of Southwest Florida works to provide fresh and nutritious ...
(Date:12/8/2016)... ... December 08, 2016 , ... Bill Mull Agencies, a Wichita-based ... and around central Kansas, is joining the Youth Horizons organization for a charity ... Headquartered in Wichita, Youth Horizons works to empower area children from unstable, troubled, ...
(Date:12/7/2016)... ... December 07, 2016 , ... ... of the most comprehensive mental health systems reform legislation in more than fifty ... President, and the commitment of our elected officials to improving mental health services ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):