GDNF trial complete and results are on the way

The groundbreaking clinical trial of GDNF is now complete.

In depth analysis of the results is now well underway and is expected to be published in February 2019.

Read the latest GDNF trial news - GDNF clinical trial offers hope for restoring brain cells damaged in Parkinson's.

About the trial

GDNF (glial cell line-derived neurotrophic factor) is a special protein that is naturally produced inside the brain and supports the survival of many types of brain cells – including the cells lost in Parkinson's.

We are now focused upon analysing and understanding the results, and our aim is to communicate these to people affected by Parkinson's as soon as we can.
Dr Alan Whone, Principal Investigator on the GDNF trial

To investigate the effects of GDNF, 41 people with Parkinson's took part in a groundbreaking clinical trial in Bristol.

In the first phase, participants received either GDNF or a placebo (a dummy drug) for 9 months. In the second phase all participants received GDNF for a second 9 months.

Initial analysis suggested that the treatment is safe but there was no clear difference between those who received GDNF and those who received the placebo after 9 months.

These initial results only scratched the surface of the huge amount of the information collected throughout the study, which has generated over 20,000 sheets of data.

The full analysis of all the data is now nearing completion and will give us a much more comprehensive picture of the effects of GDNF.

Get up to speed with GDNF

Dr Alan Whone, Principal Investigator on the GDNF trial, recently gave a lecture to update people affected by Parkinson's on the progress of the trial so far.

In part 1 of his lecture, he discusses the scientific discoveries and innovation that has made the trial possible:

In part 2, Alan discusses what we've learnt from the trial so far and what more is to come:

Update: this story was updated on 4 February 2019 with the expected publication date for the trial results, and again in March with the results. 

This story was originally published in May 2017.