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). 

2016 Update:

At our annual LCT meeting in September 2016, after stimulating debate, the committee prioritised more compounds to be brought forward for further investigation: MSDC-0160, Trehalose (which was initially discussed in 2012), MMF and Nortriptyline. Also of interest were the next generation of Diabetes type 11 treatments and the anti-inflammatory targets of certain drugs currently used to treat cancer.

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: NAC, Nilotinib, UDCA, etc.

UDCA Ursodeoxycholic acid - is already used to treat liver disease and to lower cholesterol, but we are 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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