The Cure Parkinson's Trust is delighted to be supporting two sub-studies within the Bydureon phase lll trial (Exenatide-PD) which will begin recruiting from six sites only in the UK over the coming months. This phase III efficacy trial in a larger cohort is the next stage in a programme of trials and research studies to determine whether this drug is a beneficial treatment for people with Parkinson's.

Laboratory data has shown that the drug, exenatide (brand name Bydureon), seems to have an effect on nerve cells and their survival in the context of toxins and unfavourable environments, that may be relevant to Parkinson’s. This two year study will be seeking to recruit 200 people with Parkinson’s based in the UK. Principal Investigator, Professor Tom Foltynie says,

We want the criteria for inclusion on this trial to be as broad as possible, so that the results are relevant to the majority of people with Parkinson's and not just a small sub-group

The previous phase ll exenatide study (the results of which were published in The Lancet in 2017) followed 60 people with Parkinson’s as they used either a once-weekly injection of exenatide for 48 weeks, or a placebo, in addition to their regular medications.

The results found that people who used exenatide had better motor function at 48 weeks when they came off the treatment, which persisted after the 12-week follow-up. Those who had injected the placebo showed a decline in their motor scores at both the 48- and 60-week tests. The advantage of 4 points, on a 132-point scale of measures such as tremors, agility and speech, was statistically significant. 

The phase lll trial is a longer-term study with more participants, and will investigate whether the statistical significance is replicated in a larger cohort of patients giving marked improvements in quality of life.

Further information will follow about this and other trials within the Linked Clinical Trial programme.