G-Force PD is a global initiative created to bring cell based therapies to people with Parkinson's. This April, on World Parkinson's Day, the G-Force Steering Committee convened in Cambridge for their sixth annual meeting, supported by The Cure Parkinson's Trust (CPT). This was followed by presentations by the Steering Committee to an audience of people affected by Parkinson's.

The G-Force group was created in 2014 bringing together a group of researchers working around stem cell based therapies to better harmonise the work between the different consortia to bring this treatment forward to the clinic. 

Each of the G-Force teams, based in Europe, the US and Japan, is establishing reproducible and scalable protocols for the production of dopamine replacement cells that meet 'Good Manufacturing Practice' (GMP) standards. GForce-PD is continually tackling important open questions around stem cell therapies for Parkinson’s. For example, a critical issue is the level of genetic and other checks this tissue should undergo to ensure it is viable and safe to transplant into people. Other important issues include monitoring and improving the immune response to transplantation for future clinical trials, deciding what criteria define the best people for transplantation of the cell replacement therapy, what protocols should be included in the patient assessment criteria and what comparisons the optimal trial design should include.

The first human clinical trials within this consortium began in 2018. The world’s first clinical trial using iPS cells in Parkinson’s was carried out in Kyoto, Japan. 

The April 2019 G-Force PD meeting was followed by Professors Roger Barker (John Van Geest Centre for Brain Repair), Jun Takahashi (Kyoto university), Malin Parmar (Lund University), and Claire Henchcliffe (Weill Cornell Medicine, NY) presenting their research updates to an audience of people affected by Parkinson's. 

Further reading:

Dopamine Cell Replacement Therapies for Parkinson's