Clinical trial of new dyskinesia drug starts in Sweden

The first participant has been recruited to a pioneering clinical trial which is testing a new drug called NLX-112 to investigate its potential for people with Parkinson’s.

NLX-112 has shown promise in the lab for reducing dyskinesia, which is a common and distressing side effect of current Parkinson’s medications. Dyskinesia causes involuntary movements that can affect various parts of the body, making simple, everyday tasks, like tying your shoelaces or making a cup of tea, difficult.

The trial is led by researchers at the Karolinska Institute in Stockholm and at 4 other sites in Sweden. A total of 24 participants will be involved, with 16 receiving NLX-112 and the remainder an inactive pill (placebo) for comparison. 

It will assess whether NLX-112 is safe and well-tolerated by people with Parkinson’s who experience dyskinesia, and whether NLX-112 can reduce dyskinesia as well as some non-motor symptoms, such as depressed mood and disturbed sleep.

Leading charities Parkinson’s UK and The Michael J. Fox Foundation (MJFF) joined forces to fund the £1.5m ($2m) phase 2 clinical trial, which is being sponsored by the biopharmaceutical company Neurolixis. 

Adrian Newman-Tancredi, PhD, DSc, Chief Executive Officer of Neurolixis, commented:

"We are delighted that this important trial is now underway and the first participant has been recruited. The pandemic has made getting to this point more challenging and time-consuming than we’d hoped, but we’re now keen to make up for lost time. If recruitment to the study progresses smoothly we are hopeful that we will have results to share by late 2022." 

Dr Arthur Roach, Director of Research at Parkinson’s UK, said:

"We’re pleased to be supporting this study which aims to deliver a treatment that is desperately needed by many people living with Parkinson’s. It’s great that recruitment is now underway as this milestone brings us one step closer to results which could reveal an important new therapy for the millions living with this condition around the world."

Marco Baptista, PhD, Vice President of Research Programs at MJFF, said:

"A treatment for dyskinesia would significantly improve quality of life for millions with Parkinson’s who experience this common medication side effect. We are proud to partner with Parkinson’s UK and Neurolixis and with the study volunteers to advance this therapy in testing."

Get up to speed on this promising new treatment

NLX-112 was originally developed as a pain medication, but early clinical studies revealed potential benefits for Parkinson’s. Find out more about how Parkinson’s UK has supported the development of this promising new treatment through its pioneering Virtual Biotech on our blog.