For a number of years we have received feedback at the Parkinson’s Academy about including sessions about research. Taking these responses and working with The Cure Parkinson’s Trust (CPT) and NIHR leads Dr Camille Carroll, Professor Oliver Bandmann and the Academy’s Dr Peter Fletcher, we designed the Research Engagement meeting for professionals who are becoming or aspire to become involved with Parkinson’s research on many different levels. Each week we are posting a blog to look at the meeting’s speaker sessions in more detail.
Dr Richard Wyse, The Cure Parkinson’s Trust
CPT’s Dr Richard Wyse opened the meeting by discussing whether disease modification in Parkinson’s could be a reality.
As we know, Parkinson’s symptomatic therapies have many imperfections. Encouragingly there is research into both better symptomatic and disease modifying treatments. At CPT however our sole focus is to halt progression of the disease and ultimately to reverse it. The charity has preclinical and regenerative medicine programmes, but it also has built a very large clinical trials programme of drugs, many repurposed from other disease areas. These are prioritised and evaluated by a committee of Parkinson’s experts of world renown.
Called the Linked Clinical Trials initiative, since its inception the programme has evaluated more than 2,000 drugs and 100 different biological targets relevant to Parkinson’s, and developed 173 detailed dossiers, of which 120 have been discussed by the Committee. This has led to the prioritisation of 49 drugs and bioactive compounds, of which 10 drugs have moved into clinical trials and a further seven are due to start in the coming year.
Good examples of trials in the programme include:
- PD-Stat a clinical trial of 230 people with mid-stage Parkinson’s using simvastatin is currently running across 23 centres in England
- Aim-PD a small study of people with GBA and idiopathic Parkinson’s testing a drug called Ambroxol, usually used to alleviate mucus build-up, has just completed at the Royal Free Hospital in London
- And the now completed 2017 study of Bydureon, a once weekly injectable treatment for type II diabetes which produced interesting results and is now moving forward into further trials
This dynamic programme of clinical trials of potentially disease modifying treatments has created the opportunity for more interested and dedicated professionals to join in with this growing research effort.
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Posted in: Research Engagement