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Michael J. Fox Foundation Awards Up to $3 Million to Industry Teams to Jumpstart Promising PD Drug Development
Date:1/31/2008

ed a small orally active molecule that crosses the blood-brain barrier. In vivo and in vitro, the molecule increases levels of trophic factors, specialized proteins that potently promote survival of neurons. The team has already demonstrated that the compound can increase the number of dopaminergic neurons in a mouse model of PD. The goal now is to gain greater understanding of the neurorestorative properties of this compound in mice and, if successful, test the compound in a primate model of Parkinson's disease.

Mitochondria are the 'energy factories' of body cells. It is believed that mitochondrial function is decreased in people with Parkinson's disease and that mitochondrial toxins induce parkinsonian symptoms in animal models. Rebecca Pruss, PhD, and her colleagues at Trophos are developing unique compounds that improve mitochondrial function and that are currently being evaluated in patients for the treatment of ALS and diabetic neuropathy. Dr. Pruss will test whether these compounds are neuroprotective in an animal model of Parkinson's disease.

Grant abstracts and researcher bios for all projects are available on the Foundation's Web site, http://www.michaeljfox.org.

About The Michael J. Fox Foundation

The Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson's Research is dedicated to ensuring the development of a cure for Parkinson's disease through an aggressively funded research agenda. To date, the Foundation has funded more than $115 million in research directly or through partnerships.


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