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Foundational strategies in PD therapeutics

The Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson's Research has been playing at all stages of the development spectrum. Most recently it has granted $2.4 million to fund research into repurposing marketed drugs to treat Parkinson's disease and is collaborating on the development of a new mouse model for the indication that will be freely available to researchers.

According to CEO Todd Sherer, "A key aspect of what we do is de-risking Parkinson's disease research by placing bets on ideas and therapies" that face scientific or business obstacles. By funding research to overcome these obstacles, he said MJFF expects to make PD a more attractive investment to pharmas and venture capitalists.

The six grants awarded under MJFF's new Repositioning Drugs for PD 2011 program are aimed at generating data to demonstrate that existing products could have a therapeutic benefit in PD, thereby encouraging companies to repurpose those products, he said.

Five projects are in preclinical testing, while the sixth is in the clinic. The products being

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