Parkinson’s UK funding research into drug that could slow Parkinson’s progression

The £2.9m phase 2 trial of a drug that could slow the progression of conditions like Parkinson's will be funded by the Parkinson's Virtual Biotech, our international drug discovery and development programme.

The trial, run by clinical stage drug developer Pharmaxis, will investigate whether a drug called PXS-4728 can reduce inflammation. Inflammation is believed to play a role in the progression of Parkinson's.

Researchers at the University of Oxford and the University of Sydney will test if this new treatment is safe and study its potential to reduce inflammation in the very earliest stages of Parkinson's. They will do this by giving PXS-4728 to people who experience a sleep disorder known as rapid eye movement sleep behaviour disorder, or RBD, who are at high risk of developing Parkinson's.

The trial will aim to recruit 40 participants with RBD in both the UK and Australia. 

The funding will come from the Parkinson's Virtual Biotech, Parkinson's UK's drug discovery and development programme. Collaborative and agile, it adapts successful methods from the business world to deliver new treatments faster.

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

''Parkinson's is the fastest growing neurological condition in the world, and currently there is no cure. Current therapies only help to manage symptoms so there is an urgent important need for new and better treatments that can slow the devastating progression of the condition.

''Through our innovative Parkinson's Virtual Biotech programme we invest in projects like this one, through which a biotech company aims to create important new treatments that address the priorities of people living with Parkinson's. We're thrilled to be funding this important clinical trial and enabling the inclusion of a UK site that allows people in the UK the opportunity to take part in this groundbreaking study.''

Pharmaxis CEO, Gary Phillips, said:

''I am delighted to announce this funding agreement with Parkinson's UK, whose stated aim is to look for groundbreaking research that will find new and better treatments in years not decades. 

''It's been an outstanding experience to see first-hand how Parkinson's UK collaborates with leading clinical researchers to provide a clear vision for the clinical development of the Pharmaxis drug as a novel way of tackling neurodegenerative diseases like Parkinson's.''