*News Update*

The PD-Stat study has now concluded and has shown that simvastatin holds no promise as a protective therapy in Parkinson’s. The study’s conclusion was announced at 4pm on Friday 11 September 2020 at the Movement Disorder Society in a poster presentation. Further details can be found here.

 We anticipate publication of the results early next year (2021) along with the results of several important sub-studies that formed part of the trial.

Dr Richard Wyse, Director of Research & Development at The Cure Parkinson’s Trust, said:

 ‘Given the strength of pre-clinical evidence, and the progress with simvastatin already being made in MS, this is a disappointing result. However we do now have a definitive answer, and that enables us to move forward to test a number of other drugs of interest, many of which have been used to treat other diseases, and all of which we have determined have compelling evidence they each have the potential to modify Parkinson’s progression. 

This has been an important trial as we have not only tested a study medication and evaluated novel outcomes, but also we have used this as an opportunity to understand the impact of involvement in clinical trials on participants and their loved ones.  As a result of this trial we now have motivated an active network of researchers who are keen to participate in running future studies of drugs of interest, evaluated and prioritised through the International Linked Clinical Trials process. ‘

Further information and an analysis of the evidence for simvastatin can be found in a paper written by Dr Carroll and Dr Richard Wyse: click here to access. 

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

‘This trial reached its conclusion thanks to the dedicated participants and network of committed study centres across the country. A huge thank you must go to the participants who not only contributed to this trial but also to the numerous sub-studies that have been part of this wider project. The commitment of participants enables us to secure the definitive answers needed in Parkinson’s trials and we cannot undertake this research without them.’

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PD-STAT, a clinical trial using cholesterol-lowering treatment simvastatin in people living with Parkinson’s, is now underway in centres across the country – with the hope that it could become one of a number of effective treatments available to treat Parkinson’s. Dr Richard Wyse (CPT's Director of Research) and Dr Camille Carroll who is leading the trial, make a compelling case for testing simvastatin as a potential disease modifying therapy in Parkinson’s in a recent article in the Journal of Parkinson’s Disease.

Spearheaded by Plymouth University Peninsula Schools of Medicine and Dentistry, the double-blinded placebo controlled study is involving 198 people with Parkinson’s. The trial has nearly completed recruitment and is seeking people who have been living with Parkinson’s and who are not already taking a statin.

The trial, funded by Plymouth University, the JP Moulton Trust and The Cure Parkinson’s Trust, is being ably led by Dr Camille Carroll, and run by the Peninsula Clinical Trials Unit at Plymouth University with the support of the NIHR Clinical Research Network for the South West Peninsula.

This trial is part of The Cure Parkinson’s Trust’s Linked Clinical Trials programme (LCT) which is now in its sixth year. Each year the LCT international committee comprising many of the most respected Parkinson’s experts from around the world analyse a number of pre-selected compounds to bring into clinical trials that show the potential to slow, stop or reverse Parkinson’s. These compounds already have proven safety records in people and a number of them are already used to treat other conditions.

The LCT programme has seen treatments for diabetes, cystic fibrosis and mitochondrial dysfunction move forward into Parkinson’s trials in a variety of centres in Europe and the US.

“...the results of this trials programme could lead to new and highly effective treatments in the armoury of medications to tackle Parkinson’s.”

Commenting on the study, the trial’s chief investigator Dr Camille Carroll said: “It is encouraging to see new compounds that are already approved as being safe for use in man being trialled for use in Parkinson’s. There have been few innovations in the treatment of Parkinson’s for over 40 years and for the more than 127,000 people living with the condition in the UK, the results of this trials programme could lead to new and highly effective treatments in the armoury of medications to tackle Parkinson’s.”

“At CPT, we are leaving no stone unturned in our quest to find new treatments that will slow, stop or reverse Parkinson’s”

Helen Matthews COO at The Cure Parkinson’s Trust said: “At CPT, we are leaving no stone unturned in our quest to find new treatments that will slow, stop or reverse Parkinson’s. We want to make a difference to people living with this condition. Simvastatin was prioritised by our LCT committee in 2012.  Statins are known to work in a number of ways, only one of which is to reduce cardiovascular risk.  Other actions include potential moderation of  mitochondrial size and number, suppressing pro-inflammatory molecules, inhibiting oxidative stress, reducing alpha-synuclein aggregation, and increasing expression of neurotrophic factors."  

Jon Moulton of the JP Moulton Trust added: “The Moulton Charitable Foundation was pleased to fund the highly successful trial in Multiple Sclerosis. We very much hope to see a clinical benefit at modest cost for sufferers of Parkinson’s in this trial - which we are delighted to be able to part fund.”

Simvastatin trial - FAQ's

To find out more or to take part,  please click here.

Further reading: 'Licenced drug Simvastatin shows promising neurological results'.

If you already take a statin, The Cure Parkinson's Trust would like to hear from you. Please complete this survey.

** Dr Jon Stamford, who has Parkinson's, was interviewed by a number of radio stations about the Simvastatin trial. These interviews can be accessed here.**


Participating Sites

Derriford Hospital (Plymouth)
Plymouth Hospitals NHS Trust
Royal Cornwall Hospital (Truro)
Royal Cornwall Hospitals NHS Trust
Royal Devon & Exeter Hospital (Exeter)
Royal Devon and Exeter NHS Foundation Trust
Musgrove Park Hospital (Taunton)
Taunton and Somerset NHS Foundation Trust
Yeovil District Hospital (Yeovil)
Yeovil District Hospital NHS Foundation Trust
Christchurch Hospital (Christchurch)
The Royal Bournemouth and Christchurch Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust
Royal United Hospital (Bath)
Royal United Hospital Bath NHS Foundation Trust
St Peter’s Hospital (Chertsey, Surrey)
Ashford and St Peter’s NHS Foundation Trust
Charing Cross Hospital (London)
Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust
Royal Free Hospital (London)
Royal Free London NHS Foundation Trust
Queen’s Hospital (Romford, Essex)
Barking, Havering and Redbridge University Hospital NHS Trust
John Radcliffe Hospital (Oxford)
Oxford University Hospitals NHS Trust
Luton and Dunstable Hospital (Luton & Dunstable)
Luton and Dunstable Hospital NHS Foundation Trust
Addenbrooke’s Hospital (Cambridge)
Cambridge University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust
Salford Royal Hospital (Salford)
Salford Royal NHS Foundation Trust
Fairfield General Hospital (Bury)
The Pennine Acute Hospitals NHS Trust
Royal Preston Hospital (Preston)
Lancashire Teaching NHS Foundation Trust
Leeds General Infirmary (Leeds)
Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust
Clinical Ageing Research Unit (Newcastle Upon Tyne)
Newcastle Upon Tyne Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust
King’s College Hospital (London)
King’s College Hospital NHS Foundation Trust
Southmead Hospital (Bristol)
North Bristol NHS Trust