Potential Therapy Targeting Key Parkinson’s Protein Advances in Human Trials
Thursday, 27th May 2021

Another therapy in the drug development pipeline has taken a step forward with the start of a new trial in nearly 600 people with Parkinson’s. Partners Prothena and Roche have enrolled the first participant in their Phase IIb trial of an antibody (called prasinezumab) targeting the protein alpha-synuclein.

Alpha-synuclein clumps and spreads in cells of nearly every person with Parkinson’s. More than a dozen approaches to prevent or clear those aggregates to slow or stop progression are in human trials. Prasinezumab blocks the spread of diseased alpha-synuclein.

“Developing treatments to protect cells from alpha-synuclein toxicity is a priority goal for the Parkinson’s therapeutic field,” said Luis Oliviera, PhD, MJFF Senior Associate Director of Research Programs who manages our portfolios supporting alpha-synuclein therapeutics. “We will be following outcomes of the prasinezumab trial closely and are grateful for all volunteers who will help test this potential therapy.”

In September 2020, Prothena and Roche announced results from their Phase II trial (the PASADENA trial). While the drug did not meet its primary objective of slowed clinical progression, the partners reported that some tests did show reduced motor decline with the treatment.

The new trial (called the PADOVA trial) is recruiting 575 people diagnosed with Parkinson’s within the past three years and on Parkinson’s medication for at least six months. The study will assess safety and impact on progression of motor symptoms. It will involve around 120 clinical sites across the United States, Canada and Europe. See a full list on clinicaltrials.gov.

Look for updates on recruiting trials in our regular Research Roundup blog posts. (Read the latest from March.)

Another study is helping better understand and measure Parkinson’s to speed new treatments. Our Parkinson’s Progression Markers Initiative (PPMI) is recruiting people diagnosed with Parkinson’s in the past two years (see recruiting sites). PPMI is also looking for parents, siblings and children of people with Parkinson’s. Take a short survey to see if you are eligible.