The Fox Focus Fall/Winter 2017 - Page 8

Research Momentum for Parkinson’s Motor Therapies Market-bound therapies for Parkinson’s motor symptoms and medication complications are picking up pace. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved a new symptomatic treatment this summer and others aren’t too far behind. The Michael J. Fox Foundation (MJFF) got many of these drugs off the ground by “de-risking” early- stage testing and attracting companies to take them over the goal line. FIRST THERAPY APPROVED FOR PARKINSON’S DYSKINESIA In August, the FDA approved Gocovri, the first drug specifically to treat levodopa-induced dyskinesia (LID) — involuntary, uncontrolled movements that can occur with long-term use of levodopa. Because levodopa is the most commonly prescribed medication for Parkinson’s disease (PD) motor symptoms, LID can affect quality of life for many. symptoms but often is used for dyskinesia as well.) Gocovri levels peak during the day, when dyskinesia typically is most troublesome, and decrease at night, when medication side effects might otherwise interfere with adequate dosing. MJFF led the development of a dyskinesia rating scale, which verified the medication’s effect in clinical trials. (Read more in the sidebar on the next page.) The new drug, developed by biotech Adamas, is a once-a-day, long-acting reformulation of immediate-release amantadine, which has been available for many years. (It is approved for PD motor Other LID therapies in the pipeline include Foliglurax, a drug in Phase II trials, and focused ultrasound, a non-invasive surgical technique that targets ultrasound to specific brain areas involved in dyskinesia. 8 The Fox Focus