This week researchers from the University of Plymouth published the study protocol of the ongoing PD STAT clinical trial, which is evaluating the disease modifying potential of the cholesterol-lowering drug simvastatin in 230 people with Parkinson's. This is yet another example of CPT's clinical study testing a re-purposed medication for Parkinson's within the Linked Clinical Trials initiative.

Simvastatin belongs to a class of drugs called statins, which are widely used to reduce blood cholesterol and cardiovascular risk. Simvastatin has been clinically available for a very long time, and doctors have a very well characterised safety profile of the drug. There is, however, a great deal of preclinical data demonstrating the neuroprotective properties of statins in models of neurodegeneration, as well as epidemiological data suggesting that statin use may reduce the risk of developing Parkinson's (Click for more...)

For these reasons, there is a strong argument for clinically testing simvastatin in people with Parkinson's to determine whether it can slow or stop the progression of the condition.

At the Linked Clinical Trials meeting in 2012, 26 potentially disease-modifying drugs were evaluated by our international committee of Parkinson's experts, and based on compelling preclinical data coupled with a strong clinical safety record, simvastatin was selected as one of the drugs prioritised for further clinical evaluation. Following that decision, the recently published study protocol was drafted and in September 2015 the PD STAT Simvastatin study (co-funded by The Cure Parkinson’s Trust and the JP Moulton Foundation) was initiated. The study involving 230 participants is currently being conducted at 23 hospitals across the UK, and the results of that study are expected in late 2020.

Read the study protocol:

For more information about the PD-STAT trial see 'The simvastatin trial - the facts'