Herantis Pharma has published initial results from a phase 1/2 study of an experimental protective protein called CDNF which may hold potential to slow, stop or reverse Parkinson's.
The ongoing study aims to evaluate the safety and tolerability of CDNF delivered directly to the brain in 17 people with advanced Parkinson's.
These early results show that, after 6 months of receiving either placebo or CDNF, the treatment appears to be safe and tolerable, with no serious side effects related to CDNF.
In addition, they have reported that there appear to be promising signals from brain scans of those receiving the treatment.
This study will now continue for a further six months during which all the participants will receive CDNF and further results are expected later this year.
What is CDNF?
CDNF (cerebral dopamine neurotrophic factor) is one of a family of growth factors that the brain produces naturally to help cells to grow and survive.
Research in the lab suggests that CDNF can protect dopamine-producing cells and encourage them to grow again.
Another important member of this family is GDNF (or glial cell line-derived neurotrophic factor) which was tested in a groundbreaking clinical trial supported by Parkinson's UK.
The results from the GDNF trial were mixed but brain scans provided promising clues that the drug may be reawakening and restoring damaged brain cells.
Claire Bale, Head of Research Communications and Engagement, comments:
"These initial results are encouraging. First and foremost, they suggest that treatment with CDNF is safe for people with Parkinson's.
"Secondly, the insights from the brain scans seem to be consistent with the results from our GDNF trial - and provide further hope that these kinds of drugs may hold potential to slow, stop or reverse Parkinson's.
"This ongoing study is too small to tell us whether CDNF can slow, stop or reverse Parkinson's. So, we're really encouraged that Herantis are already preparing plans for a larger phase 2 study which will be needed to investigate the potential effects of CDNF.
"We'll continue to keep a close eye on this ongoing study and share further results when they are announced."
Moving GDNF forward
We're excited about the future of GDNF as a treatment for Parkinson's. And we’re fully committed to exploring the potential it could hold.
Parkinson’s UK Chief Executive, Steve Ford, reflects upon progress one year since the groundbreaking GDNF trial results were announced.