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GEN News Highlights : Jun 23, 2010

Biovail and MedGenesis Receive $2.1M Grant for Parkinson Disease Trials

Award will support clinical development of glial cell line-derived neurotrophic factor therapy.

Biovail and MedGenesis Therapeutix confirmed the receipt of $2.1 million from the Michael J. Fox Foundation to fund further clinical development of glial cell line-derived neurotrophic factor (GDNF) therapy for Parkinson disease.

GDNF is a naturally occurring growth factor that protects and promotes the survival of dopamine-producing nerve cells, the firms explain. The candidate is being developed by Biovail and MedGenesis through a collaboration agreement announced in January. Parkinson disease is the first GDNF indication the partnership is focused on.

The GDNF co-development agreement followed on from MedGenesis’ negotiation of an exclusive, worldwide license to the GDNF protein from Amgen for both CNS and non-CNS applications. This deal, also announced in January, gave Amgen a small equity stake in MedGenesis.

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