- Seven major pharmaceutical companies have joined the international Critical Path for Parkinson's (CPP) consortium, boosting the profile of the recently established development group.
- Parkinson's UK, a co-founding member of CPP, on Tuesday announced AbbVie, AstraZeneca, Biogen, Eli Lilly, Merck Sharp and Dohme, Pfizer, and UCB signed on to join the group.
- CPP was founded by Parkinson's UK and the Critical Path Institute in October 2015, who aimed to bring together pharma companies and academics in order to better design and accelerate clinical trials for Parkinson's treatments.
Although Parkinson's disease affects roughly 7 million people worldwide, there has been few major advancements in treatment.
"Despite significant advances in our understanding of the genetics, biochemistry, and pathology of Parkinson's, the development of new treatments has not kept pace, said Dr. Arthur Roach, research director at Parkinson's UK, in a statement.
However, this development drought may be starting to lift. In addition to the new commitments to CPP, some new treatments have shown promise for Parkinson's.
ACADIA Pharmaceuticals' Nuplazid has won priority review and breakthrough therapy designations from the FDA as a treatment for Parkinson's disease psychosis. The drug showed improvement in psychosis compared to a placebo in a phase 3 study. An FDA advisory committee meeting is scheduled for March 29, 2016 and the drug has a PDUFA data of May 1, 2016.
Elsewhere, a small phase 1 clinical study of Novartis' leukemia drug nilotinib on 12 Parkinson's disease patients demonstrated significant clinical improvement in symptoms. While the results have raised hopes, other treatments for the condition have looked promising in early trials only to disappoint later on. The CPP consortium hopes to tackle this exact problem by increasing investment in new R&D.