The Michael J. Fox Foundation Annual Report 2019 + 2020 Milestones + Momentum | Page 9

2019 + 2020 Annual Report

PPMI : A Landmark Study Takes Pioneering Steps toward Prevention

THE MICHAEL J . FOX FOUNDATION ’ S landmark clinical study , the Parkinson ’ s Progression Markers Initiative ( michaeljfox . org / ppmi ), is entering an ambitious new phase : expanding to study the largest group of individuals ever assembled who are at risk for Parkinson ’ s , but in whom symptoms have not yet appeared . By growing the study , also known as PPMI , from 1,500 to 4,000 participants at sites around the world , and enrolling as many as 100,000 people online , PPMI will furnish the field with critical understanding of who is at risk for Parkinson ’ s , who ultimately gets the disease , who does not , and why . Additionally , the study will continue to enroll those recently diagnosed with Parkinson ’ s and unaffected control volunteers to better understand the variability of the disease and look for measurable differences from normal aging .
The Foundation launched PPMI in 2010 , flying in the face of conventional wisdom that it was too daunting to embark on a much-needed , long-term observational study of Parkinson ’ s disease . Under the leadership of principal investigator Ken Marek , MD , the study aimed to jump-start biological understanding of PD and propel efforts to develop treatments with potential to slow or stop disease progression .
Eleven years later , PPMI has earned its status as the collaborative , worldwide , all-star team effort to unravel the complex pathology of Parkinson ’ s disease for the benefit of today ’ s and future generations of patients .
PPMI is funneling a wealth of insights , scientific results , practical research tools and vital data directly into the Parkinson ’ s drug development arena . Worldwide , scientists download PPMI data an average 2200 times every day ( 8 million downloads and counting to date ). This flurry of activity is generating essential findings that are rapidly advancing today ’ s Parkinson ’ s research field . More than 400 scientific papers cite the study . And PPMI insights have enabled more than 20 industry-sponsored drug trials , resulting in the most robust pipeline in PD history .

“ PPMI is proof that we can move the dial by working together . It is a privilege to help orchestrate this unprecedented collaboration of academic and industry researchers , clinicians and , most importantly , patients and control participants in the study .”

— Sohini Chowdhury , MJFF Deputy Chief Executive Officer and Head of Research