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June 27, 2012

KineMed Wins $1.2M from MJFF for Parkinson Disease Biomarker Program

  • KineMed received an additional $1.2 million from the Michael J. Fox Foundation (MJFF) for Parkinson’s Research to support ongoing development of kinetic biomarkers for use alongside the R&D and clinical trials of Parkinson disease (PD) therapeutics. The firm’s neurobiomarker program is focused on identifying markers of disease progression and regression that represent a more sensitive and reproducible measure of disease than the symptom-based parameters currently used, which the firm claims are “hindering and expanding” the costs clinical trials of CNS drugs.

    The firm says it has identified cerebrospinal fluid kinetic biomarkers that measure the rate of neurodegeneration in PD patients within weeks, which is much sooner than any effects on disease progression are clinically apparent. Such markers will provide drug developers with a more reproducible and actionable measure of whether a candidate drug is effective or not.

    “The lack of validated biomarkers for Parkinson disease is a major hurdle to PD drug development today, and so our foundation is invested in this critical research,” remarks Mark Frasier, Ph.D., vp for research programs at the MJFF. “KineMed’s cross-sectional study will look to confirm existing data that we have funded, which has identified biomarkers that are sensitive to subtle changes early in the disease process.” 

    KineMed is exploiting its isotopic tracer technology to uncover causal pathways in disease. The firm is leveraging its expertise through biomarker collaborations with industry, and also to develop an internal drug and biomarker pipeline. Earlier this month KineMed and GlaxoSmithKline established a multiyear collaboration to identify and validate biomarkers for use in clinical trials of candidates against muscle wasting, fibrosis, and metabolic diseases. 

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