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Parkinson’s Brain Chemistry Changes Now Trackable in Man

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KineMed, Inc. announced today the publication of a novel discovery in biomarkers for neurodegenerative diseases from a study funded by The Michael J. Fox Foundation. The absence of meaningful biomarkers has remained a roadblock in the development and clinical application of treatments for neurological disorders. The publication describes in detail a unique class of biomarkers that measure the transport efficiency of key cargo molecules through neurons in the living human brain. Biomarkers of this pathogenically causal process may be used for the development of drugs to treat Parkinson’s disease.

The study published in the current edition of the Journal of Clinical Investigation extends the use of KineMed’s proprietary “heavy water” (2H2O)/protein dynamics mass spectrometric platform that provides real-time measurements of the flow of molecules through specific biochemical pathways in vivo.

Researchers, led by Dr. Patrizia Fanara at KineMed, Inc., and Dr. Marc Hellerstein at the University of California, Berkeley and KineMed, Inc., working with collaborators at the University of California San Francisco and the University of Osnabruck, Germany, used the 2H2O labeling approach to specifically track, for the first time, the movement of cargo proteins that rely on axonal transport prior to release into the cerebrospinal fluid (CSF).

The results demonstrate that the axonal transport of cargo proteins is impaired in preclinical models of ALS and Parkinson’s disease and correlates with disease severity. Moreover, treatments targeting this malfunction in preclinical models delayed or reversed disease symptoms. The study further revealed that similar abnormalities in axonal transport can be tracked through a single CSF sample in Parkinson’s patients, which makes this method easy to apply in clinical settings.

In the same issue of JCI, the distinguished author, Dr. William Z. Potter, Co-Chair Emeritus, Neuroscience Steering Committee for the Biomarkers Consortium of the Foundation for the National Institutes of Health; Sr. Advisor to the Director of the National Institute of Mental Health, discusses the uses of this biomarker approach and the implications of using this technology to track brain processes in a commentary article entitled “Mining the secrets of the CSF: developing biomarkers of neurodegeneration.”

Dr. Patrizia Fanara, Vice President, Neuroscience at KineMed, Inc. said, “This is a breakthrough in translational science, bridging basic neurobiology and clinical medicine. We are enabling physicians and researchers to answer clinical questions such as: ‘How fast is the disease progressing?’ and ‘Is this drug delaying or reversing the underlying disease?’”

Dr. Marc Hellerstein, Professor (Calloway Chair) at University of California Berkeley and Chief of the Scientific Advisory Board at KineMed, added, “As Dr. Potter’s editorial noted, the absence of biomarkers of the pathologic processes driving neurodegenerative diseases has impeded therapeutic discovery. The diagnostic biomarker approach described here may provide a major addition to the clinical tool-kit for managing Parkinson’s patients and discovering effective, new treatments.”

“KineMed’s researchers have made important progress in the search for a Parkinson’s disease biomarker, which could in the future play a critical role in the development of novel therapies to slow or even stop the progression of the disease,” said Dr. Mark Frasier, Vice President of Research Programs at The Michael J. Fox Foundation.

KineMed gratefully acknowledges the invaluable contribution of the study research group: Drs. Michael Aminoff, Chadwick Christine, Richard Price, Robert Nussbaum and Deborah Cabin from the University of California San Francisco, Dr. Lori Kohlstaedt at the University of California Berkeley, and Dr. Roland Brandt at the University of Osnabruck, Germany.

Study: Cerebrospinal fluid-based kinetic biomarkers of axonal transport in monitoring neurodegeneration

Study: Mining the secrets of the CSF: developing biomarkers of neurodegeneration

Source: Kinemed