A Message From Clyde – Australian Researchers Making Progress

Dear Shake It Up Supporter,

We are very pleased to share that since we started the foundation back in 2011 we have co-funded 28 Parkinson’s research projects across 12 Australian research institutes to the value of over $10.4 million.  This would not have been possible without your support, thank you!

As the country’s leader in strategic Parkinson’s research funding we are excited about the talent we have in our Australian institutes and the prospect that their work will take us closer to a cure. In the last 12 months we have funded a variety of internationally competitive projects that are looking at a number of different contributing factors to Parkinson’s. Learn more about our Research Projects.

Underlying all our research is the need to identify a biomarker for Parkinson’s and many of the projects we fund use data collected by the Parkinson’s Progression Markers Initiative (PPMI) funded by The Michael J. Fox Foundation. This initiative comprises 33 clinical sites in 11 countries, and nearly 1,000 participants who are contributing invaluable data and biosamples into the most robust Parkinson’s database and specimen bank ever created. These resources are paired with a simple online system allowing researchers to access study data and samples for complementary Parkinson’s research in their own labs across the globe. It is only through international collaboration that we will find a cure for Parkinson’s.

In the meantime our quest to slow or stop the progression of Parkinson’s is gaining ground with the implementation of our first linked clinical Parkinson’s trial led by Associate Professor John O’Sullivan which is a collaboration between the University of Queensland, Shake It Up, Queensland Government, The Wesley Research Institute, Griffith University and The Cure Parkinson’s Trust. The protocol for this study is to trial two repurposed drugs against two placebo groups. The overall approach of the intended trial is to rapidly screen existing drugs that are licensed and used already in clinical practice for other indications to determine whether they are worth transitioning to Phase III, multi-centre, randomised, placebo-controlled, double blind trials. If successful, such trials would facilitate a change in the indication of already licensed medications to allow their use as disease modifying treatments for Parkinson’s disease.

We are now ready to commence a second trial in NSW headed up by Professor Simon Lewis at the Brain & Mind Centre, University of Sydney which will trial four drugs and one placebo in patients with more established Parkinson’s as well as validating disease biomarkers that could be used to evaluate the efficacy of future therapeutic treatments. This approach would be an international first and importantly will set Australia on a path of conducting further studies which we hope will bring new treatments to slow Parkinson’s into clinical practice.

As we continue to strive for answers we need your ongoing financial support to fund this vital research. The end of the financial year is fast approaching and we ask you to support our work before the 30 June 2018. I can confirm that 100% of your donation will fund Parkinson’s research as the founding directors continue to personally cover all administration costs of the foundation. In addition, most of the projects we support are funded on a 50/50 basis with The Michael J. Fox Foundation which means that we are effectively able to double the reach of the funds we raise.

From all of us at Shake It Up thank you for your valued support.

Clyde Campbell
Founder and CEO

 

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