Neuroperspective reviews status and prospects of therapeutics for Parkinson's disease

NI Research, the leading publisher of independent research on the neurotherapeutics industry, has released the May issue of NeuroPerspective, which reviews the status and prospects of therapeutics for Parkinson's.

"The current therapeutic options for PD are limited in scope and duration of utility. Motoric symptoms can be attenuated, but over time, there is a price to be paid, as L-dopa related dyskinesias eventually emerge for many patients," said Harry Tracy , Ph.D., publisher of NeuroPerspective, the authoritative, independent, monthly review of the neurotherapeutics area, providing critical analysis of therapeutics-in-development. Drugs under development include a number that are aimed at improving the profile of symptom reduction (e.g. Newron, Cynapsus, Addex, Psychogenics, and Santhera),and those targeting ancillary symptoms of PD and its treatment. The most recently successful example of the latter category is Acadia Pharmaceuticals' pimavanserin, which provides a novel approach to Parkinsonian psychosis.

When it comes to the ultimate goal of disease-modification, Parkinson's is the venue where neuroscience has often focused its most daringly innovative programs, but this has been based partly on the premise that PD is an anatomically-constrained disease primarily impacting motor functions. Over time, it has become clear that it is not limited to motor circuitry in the brain, and that the cognitive symptoms of Parkinson's are more frequent, and long term take a greater toll, than had been previously thought. Questions have been raised regarding the predictive validity of the toxin models that have been the firmament upon which so many therapeutic programs have stood, and placebo effects play a large a role in obscuring the potential effect of new treatments, as they do in most CNS disorders.

Research aimed at slowing the progression of Parkinson's involves small molecule, antibody/vaccine tactics, and neurotrophic factor tactics. The targets being addressed include inflammatory and oxidative processes (Merck, Shire/Heptares, Prexton, Addex, Bristol Myers Squibb/Vanderbilt, Domain, FPRT); LRRK2 (Biogen-Idec, Lundbeck, Zenobia, TauTaTis); and alpha-synuclein (Roche/reMYND, Affiris, Biogen-Idec/Neurimmune, Proteostasis, NeuroPhage, Prothena, NeuroPore).  Delivery methods for neurotrophic factors include the most sophisticated technologies available to clinical neuroscience, such as gene therapy (Ceregene, Oxford Biomedica, Sanofi/Genzyme, UniQure, Hermo, NsGene); cell therapy (BrainStorm, NeuroGeneration, ReNeuron, International Stem Cell), and brain infusion (Lilly/Medtronic, Newron/NeuroNova, MedGenesis). PD biomarker development is being pursued by a number of companies, including Genentech, KineMed, and Amarantus.

The May issue of NeuroPerspective also provides reports regarding developments in the race to develop a fast-acting antidepressant, with new data for ketamine and from Alkermes, and Cerecor's licensing of a Merck depression asset. There is also pointed commentary the current dance between Elan and Royalty Pharma; and a reconsideration of the ritualized statistical benchmarks that have become entrenched in contemporary drug development in specific, and in science overall. The May issue also includes a brief overview of the Merck Serono spin-off, Prexton Therapeutics.  

The May issue covering Parkinson's is also being made available as a single-issue purchase, for US$250. Further information and online purchasing with immediate delivery are available at


NI Research


The opinions expressed here are the views of the writer and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of News Medical.
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