EMERYVILLE, Calif.—KineMed, Inc. has announced the receiptof a $1.2 million reinvestment from The Michael J. Fox Foundation to fund thecompany's ongoing development of kinetic biomarkers that can be used in thedrug development process to both accelerate and reduce costs for trials ofParkinson's disease treatments.
"We are proud to be extending our work with The Michael J.Fox Foundation and thank the Foundation for this ongoing commitment whichrecognizes that the development of better biomarkers plays a key role inaccelerating progress towards a cure for Parkinson's disease," Dr. PatriziaFanara, Ph.D., vice president of neuroscience at KineMed, said in a pressrelease. "The current difficult in advancing a cure is the pharmaceuticalindustry's challenge to appraise the myriad proposed treatment strategies inconcise, cost-effective trials. Our cerebrospinal fluid kinetic biomarkersmeasure the rate of neurodegeneration in PD patients within weeks, much soonerthan any visible effect in disease progression. These fast readouts arestronger and more actionable, so can help companies decide quickly whether ornot a drug is working and which patient is responding."
The company's neuro-biomarker program is working towards thedevelopment of robust, lead indicators of disease progression and regressionfor Parkinson's disease by way of identifying and measuring relevantbiochemical changes associated with pathology at the cellular level. Thequantitative measurements that such biomarkers could offer can replace thecurrent standard of less-accurate symptomatic measures that can vary frequentlydue to each patient's condition. These measures are one of the factors leadingto slower and more expensive trials for central nervous system drugs, and ofall therapeutic areas, the trial length and cost for developing a centralnervous system drug is among the highest.
The Tufts Center for the Study of Drug Development releaseda study in 2011 that reported that an average of 8.1 years is spent in humantesting of central nervous system drugs, more than two years longer and morethan 50 percent longer in the regulatory approval stage than average drugs. Inaddition, the study also noted that of central nervous system drugs that beginhuman testing, only 8.2 percent actually reach the market, almost half of the15 percent for drugs overall.
"The lack of validated biomarkers for Parkinson's disease isa major hurdle to PD drug development today, and so our Foundation is investedin this critical research," Mark Frasier, Ph.D., vice president of researchprograms for The Michael J. Fox Foundation, said in a press release. "KineMed'scross-sectional study will look to confirm existing data that we have funded,which has identified biomarkers that are sensitive to subtle changes early inthe disease process."
Earlier this year, KineMed announced that it was one of thefirst funding awardees to be showcased by The Michael J. Fox FoundationIndustry Partnering Program. The Michael J. Fox Foundation sponsored KineMed'spathway-based biomarker study of neuronal function, and using the company'sproteome dynamics technology, the research demonstrated abnormalities inbiochemical pathways in neurons in living brains that are thought to beassociated with the pathogenesis and progression of Parkinson's disease.
SOURCE: KineMed press release