Parkinson’s as a disease area has lacked innovation and therefore new treatments. There is only one gold standard treatment for Parkinson’s which has been used for over 40 years. To address this problem, in 2012 The Cure Parkinson’s Trust (CPT) instigated its Linked Clinical Trials initiative (LCT). The objective was to apply new scientific and clinical knowledge gained about the condition and to find ways of addressing the barriers which stand in the way of translating new science into new treatments.
What is the Linked Clinical Trials (LCT) Programme?
The LCT programme fast-tracks potential new treatments for Parkinson’s. Each year we hunt for drugs, many of which have been used for a long time to treat other conditions, we delve into their safety record, how they work, and understand if they might be effective as a treatment in Parkinson’s. This list is refined and Dr Richard Wyse, Head of Research compiles a dossier on each compound giving the biochemical reasons why this might be a valid treatment approach in Parkinson’s. The dossiers are then discussed by the global Linked Clinical Trials Committee.
Each year around 25 dossiers of potential new treatments are prioritised by the committee of the world’s leading Parkinson’s experts, The committee prioritises these drugs according to the likely impact they will have to slow, stop or reverse Parkinson’s. Each treatment is evaluated on:
• Clarity of biological target(s)
• Strength of safety data
• Ease of bringing into trial
The most promising of these are then tested in a clinical trial in people with Parkinson’s to establish their effectiveness.
To make the clinical trials as efficient as possible, we are trying to make them as similar as possible in terms of number of participants, length of trial, outcomes used, whilst also trying to learn as much as we possibly can during the trial. These efficiencies help reduce the costs.
By streamlining the trials in this way, we hope to be able to compare the drugs in the trials and see which has the greatest effect and therefore should be nurtured through regulation into clinic.
"The innovative approach of the Linked Clinical Trials committee suggests there may be more rapid and inexpensive avenues for testing novel therapies in Parkinsons... This is critical in an environment in which costs for drug trials have escalated and have become a significant hurdle."
Roger A. Barker, Mark Stacy and Patrik Brundin, A new approach to disease-modifying drug trials in Parkinson’s disease, Journal of Clinical Investigation May 2013.
Please call us if you are interested in running a trial within the Linked Clinical Trial Programme.
To find out more on 00 +44 (0)207 487 3892. Or email Helen@cureparkinsons.org.uk