Drug for dyskinesia approved for phase 2 trials

A potential drug for dyskinesia has reached an important milestone and can now go forward into clinical trials.

The drug NLX-112, licensed by US based bioscience company Neurolixis, received support from the Parkinson's Virtual Biotech. The aim of the partnership was to drive forward research into a new treatment to combat dyskinesia – a problematic side effect associated with current Parkinson's medications.

Previous research has shown NLX-112 can reduce dyskinesia in animal models without interfering with levodopa. But, to go into clinical trials, approval needed to be obtained from regulatory bodies such as the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

The one-year Virtual Biotech project has achieved this milestone with a positive Investigational New Drug (IND) application. NLX-112 can now go into further development in phase 2 clinical trials, which will allow us to see if this drug is safe and beneficial to people with Parkinson's who experience dyskinesia.

What is dyskinesia?

Levodopa-induced dyskinesia is a common side effect experienced by people with Parkinson's who have been taking levodopa based medications for several years. This side effect causes involuntary movements that can affect various parts of the body.

Dyskinesia was voted the third most important issue to be addressed by research in a survey of people affected by Parkinson's on quality of life.

Driving important new treatments forward

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

"Dyskinesia is one of the most debilitating side effects of Parkinson's medication. Parkinson's UK provided charitable funding of more than $1million (£780,000) for Neurolixis to carry out the final research needed on NLX-112 before it could be considered by the FDA, and we're delighted that this has helped get the drug to the next stage in its development.

"Through our Virtual Biotech program, we're aiming to invest $29million (£22 million) by the end of 2021 to support projects and companies like Neurolixis that are driving towards important new treatments with the potential to transform the lives of people with Parkinson's."