Parkinson’s UK is joining forces with US charity The Michael J. Fox Foundation and biopharma company Neurolixis to fund a £1.5m clinical trial of an exciting new drug to combat dyskinesia in people with Parkinson’s.
Dyskinesia is a common side effect experienced by people with Parkinson’s who have been taking levodopa-based medications, a standard treatment for Parkinson’s, for several years. It causes involuntary movements that can affect various parts of the body. It means people with Parkinson's can't do simple tasks, like tying their shoelaces or making a cup of tea.
This 2 year study will test an exciting new drug, called NLX-112, in people with Parkinson’s for the first time.
NLX-112 works by targeting serotonin producing brain cells which are believed to contribute to the development of dyskinesia. It has shown great promise in recent lab studies funded by Parkinson’s UK.
The new study is led by a team at the Karolinska Institute in Sweden. It will assess whether the drug is safe and well-tolerated by testing it against a placebo (dummy treatment) in 24 people who experience dyskinesia. The study will also investigate whether NLX-112 can reduce dyskinesia as well as some non-motor symptoms, such as mood and sleep problems.
If the results are positive, it could move rapidly forward into a larger phase 3 trial. This would aim to provide the evidence needed to ultimately get the drug approved as an important new treatment for Parkinson’s.
Why we’re investing to stop dyskinesia
Michael Gibson, 39, was diagnosed with Parkinson’s when he was 18 years old. He experiences dyskinesia on a regular basis. Michael said:
“Dyskinesia is absolutely the worst part of having Parkinson’s for me. I’m naturally a very sociable, outgoing person, but it’s a huge knock to my self-confidence when I’m out with my kids and people stare or make awful remarks. I’ve been told, ‘You’re a disgrace’ because the sudden movements make people think I’m drunk.
“It’s an awful feeling and a constant reminder of my condition. Sometimes I don’t want to think about Parkinson’s, sometimes I just want to be me. But dyskinesia stops me from doing that.”
Dr Arthur Roach, Director of Research at Parkinson’s UK, said:
“We’re delighted to be joining forces with The Michael J. Fox Foundation to drive forward a potentially life-changing new treatment for people with Parkinson’s. We’re providing funding for this important study through our pioneering Parkinson’s Virtual Biotech which is working with partners worldwide to accelerate better treatments and a cure.”
Todd Sherer, PhD, CEO of The Michael J. Fox Foundation, said:
“Levodopa-induced dyskinesia can significantly impact quality of life for people with Parkinson’s. This collaboration with Parkinson’s UK is about combining our resources to advance this promising therapeutic approach from Neurolixis as quickly as we can to benefit the patients and families worldwide who navigate dyskinesia in their daily lives.”
Parkinson's can't hold us back
Parkinson's is the fastest growing neurological condition in the world. And there is no cure. Yet.
It can mean you can't work. Can't walk. Can't taste. Can't talk.
But research can lead to new treatments to slow, stop, or reverse symptoms. We can find a cure. And we can't do it without you.