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The Michael J. Fox Foundation Extends Funding for KineMed’s Brain-Process Biomarker Research for Parkinson’s Disease

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KineMed, Inc. announced today a further award of $1.2 Million from The Michael J. Fox Foundation towards the ongoing development of kinetic biomarkers that drug developers can use to accelerate and reduce the cost of trials of treatments for Parkinson’s disease (PD).

“The lack of validated biomarkers for Parkinson’s disease is a major hurdle to PD drug development today and so, our Foundation is invested in this critical research,” said Mark Frasier, Ph.D., Vice President, Research Programs for The Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Research. “KineMed’s cross-sectional study will look to confirm existing data that we have funded, which has identified biomarkers that are sensitive to subtle changes early in the disease process.”

“We are proud to be extending our work with The Michael J. Fox Foundation and thank the Foundation for this ongoing commitment which recognizes that the development of better biomarkers plays a key role in accelerating progress towards a cure for Parkinson’s disease,” said Dr. Patrizia Fanara, Ph.D., Vice President of Neuroscience, KineMed, “The current difficulty in advancing a cure is the pharmaceutical industry’s challenge to appraise the myriad proposed treatment strategies in concise, cost-effective trials. Our cerebrospinal fluid kinetic biomarkers measure the rate of neurodegeneration in PD patients within weeks, much sooner than any visible effect in disease progression. These fast readouts are stronger and more actionable, so can help companies decide quickly whether or not a drug is working and which patient is responding.”

KineMed’s neuro-biomarker program aims to develop robust, lead indicators of disease progression and regression through identifying and measuring relevant biochemical changes associated with pathology at the cellular level. These quantitative measures can replace cumbersome symptomatic measures that are sensitive to random fluctuation in the patient’s condition, which are hindering and expanding the cost of trials of CNS drugs in development today. The length and cost of developing a CNS drug is among the highest of any therapeutic area. A 2011 study by The Tufts Center for the Study of Drug Development reported that an average of 8.1 years was spent in human testing—more than two years longer and more than 50 percent longer in the regulatory approval stage compared with drugs on average. The study also reported that only 8.2 percent of CNS drug candidates that begin human testing reach the marketplace, compared with 15 percent for drugs overall. (Katin K. & Milne CP. Scientific American, August 9, p13, 2011)

KineMed leads the world in measuring dynamic biochemical processes important in the pathogenesis of the central and peripheral nervous system to identify and verify kinetic marker candidates. KineMed’s neuro-biomarker platform is unique, in that it reveals the kinetics of molecules through critical processes that drive neuronal dysfunction, disease progression and reparative processes. These biomarkers thereby predict outcomes and provide key information for disease-modifying drugs in development for neurological disorders.

Source: Business Wire