In 2016 the Cure Parkinson’s Trust (UK) spearheaded a unique initiative called the Linked Clinical Trials program (LCT) in collaboration with the Michael J Fox Foundation, the Van Andel Research Institute (Michigan), the Shake it Up Foundation and the Garvan Institute. This committee is made up of the world’s leading science and clinical experts in Parkinson’s Disease and has worked to study the merits of more than 70 potential ‘disease-modifying’ treatments, each with different but compelling biochemical reasons for their potential to slow or stop long term decline in Parkinson’s.
Many of the treatments prioritised to date represent a repurposing of existing medications that are currently prescribed for an alternate indication, which could make their wide implementation much quicker. A number of these repurposed agents have already been taken into clinical trials and the most exciting result to date was published in the Lancet in 2017. This small UK based study demonstrated the potential of an existing diabetes treatment to slow disease progression in Parkinson’s, which has prompted the development of a larger international trial.
Shake it Up has identified Professor Simon Lewis (Brain & Mind Centre, University of Sydney), Professor Dominic Rowe (Macquarie University) and Professor Glenda Halliday (Brain & Mind Centre, University of Sydney) to coordinate the NSW arm of this project. Professor’s Lewis and Rowe are clinicians who as practising Neurologists also have active research programs in Parkinson’s. Professor Halliday is a Neuroscientist whose research program has been focusing on the development of biomarkers to diagnose and monitor Parkinson’s. All of these clinicians and researchers have been previously funded for their Parkinson’s research by Shake It Up and The Michael J. Fox Foundation.
Using the portfolio compiled by the LCT, Shake it Up now seeks to:
1. Conduct multiple arm clinical trials in Australia to strategically screen the potential of multiple disease modifying therapies, with the aim to slow, stop & reverse Parkinson’s.
2. Validate disease biomarkers that could be used to evaluate the efficacy of future therapeutic approaches.
The Shake it Up Foundation has commissioned a Strategic Development Review to provide due diligence for a study in which four potential treatments will be trialled in patients with mid stage Parkinson’s Disease. 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.
Shake It Up is seeking funding to support this project. This is a collaborative project requiring multiple funding sources.
For further information please contact Vicki Miller, Executive General Manager, Strategic Partnerships or call 0413 417 486.