Could this existing drug be a new treatment for dyskinesia?

That’s what Professor Svenningsson will be investigating in a clinical trial of a promising drug, NLX-112.

Why is treating dyskinesia important?

People with Parkinson's don't have enough of the chemical dopamine because some of the nerve cells that make it have died. Drugs like levodopa artificially top-up dopamine levels, but after several years there are few dopamine-producing cells left for levodopa to activate.

Instead, levodopa is taken up by serotonin-producing brain cells, which can also produce small amounts of dopamine. But they tend to release it in an uncontrolled rush, causing dyskinesia.

More than 145,000 people in the UK live with Parkinson’s. About half will experience dyskinesia after five years of taking levodopa and after 10 years this jumps to 80%. 

Dr Adrian Newman-Tancredi at the biopharmaceutical company Neurolixis, believes the drug NLX-112 may have great potential, not just for helping control dyskinesia, but also to treat depression, improve sleep and reduce pain.

Watch the video to find out more.

We’re very excited to be co-funding a phase 2 clinical trial with The Michael J. Fox Foundation. It’s incredibly encouraging to see NLX-112 progress from the lab and into a clinical trial, especially when it has the potential to control such a common side effect as dyskinesia.

What is happening in the clinical trial? 

The trial is being run by world-leading expert Professor Per Svenningsson. The participants will be split into two groups. Over an eight week period, two thirds will be given NLX-112 and the other third will be given a placebo. Participants will record a diary each day of their dyskinesia and any effect the drug has on their quality of life, mood, sleep and pain. They will also wear a device to record their movement and monitor symptoms.

What's promising about this trial?

We already know from previous testing that NLX-112 is safe for people to take. By testing the drug with people with Parkinson’s who experience dyskinesia, we can discover if it is both safe and effective in controlling dyskinesia.
 

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