Each year, through the Linked Clinical Trials (LCT) initiative, drugs are selected by the Linked Clinical Trials committee, based on drug safety; the drug’s ability to pass the blood-brain barrier; mode of action relevant to putative disease mechanisms in Parkinson’s (PD); ability to measure the drug’s effectiveness; and whether there has been demonstrated success in several preclinical Parkinson’s models (Brundin et al 2013). 

2017 Update:

At our annual LCT meeting in September 2017, the committee prioritised more compounds to be brought forward for further investigation: Twenty-one different treatment options were discussed, each with the potential to change the underlying disease processes. Some of the drugs discussed had general or non-specific actions, others were targeted with defined ways of measuring engagement in the brain.

Dossiers of each drug discussed were compiled by CPT’s director of research & development, Dr Richard Wyse. Included were three drugs where promising new findings have been published in recent weeks, including Salbutamol, Trazodone and Nortriptyline.

In the pipeline are the 2016 drugs: MSDC-0160, Trehalose (which was initially discussed in 2012), and MMF. 

Our next job is to identify the pathways necessary to bring these treatments forward to trial as well as continuing to focus our energies on the drugs that have already been prioritised in previous LCT meetings.

UDCA Ursodeoxycholic acid - is already used to treat liver disease and to lower cholesterol and it has a strong safety profile and we are particularly interested in its proven action to improve mitochondrial function (or energy production) in each cell, which in Parkinson’s is disturbed. Working closely with Dr Oliver Bandmann in Sheffield, we are designing a trial which will help us to truly evaluate UDCA's potential benefits in PD. We hope to have more information available shortly and we will be seeking funding for this trial.

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