Steps towards new drugs to improve symptoms and slow Parkinson’s

We’re investing a further £1.5million to advance pioneering drug discovery work to develop new molecules that can both improve symptoms and slow progression.

Fast-tracking better treatments

The project launched in March 2018 and aims to create molecules that increase the activity of key genes inside brain cells to help them produce more of their own dopamine and protect themselves from damage.

If successful, it could produce a brand new treatment that could benefit people with Parkinson's in two important ways: improving symptoms and slowing the progression of the condition.

The project is part of our growing Parkinson’s Virtual Biotech which invests in the most promising scientific discoveries to rapidly develop and test promising Parkinson's treatments.

The new funding brings Parkinson’s UK’s total investment in this project to more than £2.5million with the work being carried out by Eurofins Selcia Drug Discovery.

Progress so far

The programme has made great progress during the first year, creating hundreds of new molecules.

The most promising have been taken forward to be thoroughly tested to understand their potency, how stable they are, and their ability to enter both the brain and cells themselves.

Following encouraging results, the new funding will enable a further 12 months of work to identify the most promising molecule. It can then be assessed for its effectiveness, safety and tolerability in animal models – a vital step towards the ultimate goal of clinical trials.

Towards better treatments

“We’re very encouraged by the rapid progress that’s been made so far in this innovative drug discovery programme.


“The next 12 months of work will be critical and there are of course no guarantees. But by the end of 2019 we hope to have a new potential drug that we can take forwards into pre-clinical and clinical testing, an important step closer to our ultimate goal of transformative new treatments for Parkinson’s.”

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



Slice title
The Parkinson's Virtual Biotech

Slice text

The Parkinson's Virtual Biotech works just like a regular biotech company - creating and testing new treatments for Parkinson's.

We're investing in research to rapidly develop and test treatments with the potential to transform life for people with the condition.