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Michael J. Fox Foundation Awards $2.7 Million for Industry Efforts to Speed New Parkinson's Therapeutics
Date:7/22/2008

h.D., and S. Y. Eddie Hou, Ph.D., Depomed, Inc., Menlo Park, California);

-- Validating a novel metabolomic diagnostic test for PD (Hyman Schipper, MD, PhD, FRCPC, and Peter Roos, Ph.D., Molecular Biometrics, Montreal, Canada);

-- Finding new ways to target the PD-implicated gene LRRK2 (Vicki Nienaber, Ph.D., Zenobia Therapeutics, San Diego, California);

-- Investigating methods to modulate the new PD target GPR88, a protein receptor believed to play a role in dopaminergic function (Thomas Sager, Ph.D., and Kenneth Thirstrup, Ph.D., H. Lundbeck A/S, Valby, Denmark); and

-- Exploring gene-knockout techniques to protect against oxidative stress implicated in the neuronal loss that characterizes PD (Kenneth Thirstrup, PhD, and Thomas Sager, Ph.D., H. Lundbeck A/S, Valby, Denmark).

Detailed grant abstracts and researchers' bios are available at http://www.michaeljfox.org.

While The Michael J. Fox Foundation has funded industry research teams since its inception, it launched the Therapeutics Development Initiative in 2006 as part of a proactive initiative to capture the attention and imagination of for-profit decision-makers and encourage them to allocate resources to Parkinson's drug development. In 2007, recognizing the increasing sophistication of many university drug development programs, the Foundation added a one-time-only "academic track" to fund non-industry-based teams working toward transformative PD treatments. The Foundation has committed about $24 million in total funding to industry to date. Slightly less than half of that total (over $10 million) has gone to the 20 projects funded through the Therapeutics Development Initiative thus far.

The deadline for pre-proposals under the next $2.5-million, industry-only funding round of TDI is January 20, 2009. The program will again seek to support preclinical development of Parkinson's disease therapies with pot
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SOURCE Michael J. Fox Foundation
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