We are delighted that Finnish-based Herantis Pharma Plc have announced that their ongoing Phase 1-2 clinical trial testing the neuroprotective agent ‘cerebral dopamine neurotrophic factor’ (or CDNF) in people with Parkinson’s has met its primary endpoint of safety and tolerability. In pre-clinical studies, CDNF has been shown to have a protective impact on pathways involved in Parkinson’s, preventing neurons from deteriorating and restoring the function of those already degenerating.

In the trial, patients received their treatment via a surgically implanted device. They were given increasing doses of CDNF or placebo each month for 6 months. The results of this study are encouraging for this important field of Parkinson’s research and we look forward to the full report later in 2020. An extension study to this trial is now underway and participants will be involved for 4 more years. Read the press release here with link to join Herantis' webinar.

This ground-breaking trial uses the same pioneering treatment delivery device as the Phase II glial cell-derived neurotrophic factor (or GDNF) trial (results of which were published in Brain and the Journal of Parkinson’s Disease in early 2019). Find out more about this trial.

Helen Matthews, Deputy CEO, The Cure Parkinson’s Trust, said:

The top line results are very encouraging for the neurotrophic factors field. These CDNF results coupled with the GDNF gene therapy trials that are underway in the US show that researchers believe that neurotrophic factors have potential in Parkinson's and they are exploring different delivery approaches, and different trophic factors, to understand potential benefit for PwPs. We look forward to the more detailed results later this year. 

For a more in-depth perspective on the CDNF trial see: CPT's Deputy Director of Research, Dr Simon Stott's Review