Parkinson's UK-funded research paves the way for new drug trial
1 September 2010
Exciting new research at University College London Hospital will
test the drug Exenatide as a novel treatment for people with mild
to moderate Parkinson’s.
Our funding helped prove the potential of Exenatide - providing a launchpad for this new trial.
Dr Kieran Breen, Director of Research
This new trial builds on several important studies including
a key Parkinson’s UK-funded project led by
Dr Peter Whitton at the School of Pharmacy (UCL).
Together these early studies showed that Exenatide could
improve symptoms and even rescue dying nerve cells in 5 different
rodent models of Parkinson’s.
What do we know about Exenatide?
Exenatide originates from the saliva of the venomous lizard
the ‘Gila monster’ which is native to southwestern America and
Exenatide is already used by around 6 million diabetics
worldwide to help control their glucose levels. So we know
Exenatide is safe to use in people.
We also know that Exenatide can cross from the blood into the
About the new trial
The research team, led by researcher and neurologist Dr Tom
Foltynie, will be recruiting 40 people with mild to moderate
Parkinson’s from the London area to take part in the 12 month
Half of the participants will be randomly assigned to receive
Exenatide and half will act as a comparison group.
The researchers will carefully monitor symptoms in both groups.
They hope to show that Exenatide can slow the development of
Parkinson's - something no current
treatments can do.
Working together to find a cure for Parkinson's
Dr Kieran Breen, our Director of Research and Development,
"It’s fantastic to see innovative research funded by Parkinson’s
UK reaching the next level.
"Our funding for Dr Peter Whitton's exciting project 2 years ago
helped prove the potential of Exenatide – providing a launchpad for
this new trial which will be funded by our colleagues the Cure
"Over the next 5 years we'll be investing more than £25million
to bring us closer to a cure.
"But we can't do it alone.The international Parkinson's research
community must pull together and collaborate on projects like this
to make sure we get there as soon as we can."