7 major pharma companies sign up to Parkinson's initiative

This week we announced that 7 of the world’s largest pharmaceutical companies have signed up to our ground-breaking new initiative to improve clinical trials for Parkinson's.

The Critical Path for Parkinson's will bring together researchers, drug companies and regulators to change clinical trials so they're smarter, and more likely to deliver new treatments for people with the condition.

Industry members AbbVie, AstraZeneca, Biogen, Eli Lilly and Company, Merck Sharp & Dohme (known as Merck & Co. Inc. in the United States and Canada), Pfizer, and UCB have signed up to the initiative.

It was launched in October 2015 and was formed by Parkinson’s UK and the Critical Path Institute (C-Path) to increase investment into research and development of new Parkinson’s treatments.

New treatments desperately needed

Dr Arthur Roach, Director of Research at Parkinson’s UK, the principal funder of the Critical Path consortium, says:

"Despite significant advances in our understanding of the genetics, biochemistry and pathology of Parkinson’s, the development of new treatments has not kept pace.

"New treatments are desperately needed to deal with the devastating effects of this progressive condition.

"Investing in clinical trials for brain disorders currently carries a high cost and high risk of failure.

"We see the consortium as a crucial part of strategies to develop new treatments that work at the earliest stage of the condition, with the goal of slowing its progression, and eventually finding a cure."

A more efficient development process

Diane Stephenson, PhD, Executive Director of the Critical Path for Parkinson’s consortium, says:

"With the increase in the costs of getting a drug to market, the design of a clinical trial is a crucial part of a drug’s success.

"There is a strong realisation from the industry that collaboration among industry, academia, and worldwide regulatory agencies, along with the sharing of data, has the potential to create a more efficient development process.

"This recognition is evidenced by the fast pace at which members of this new consortium have joined."