Improving Treatment of Parkinson's

Parkinsons drug in development may be neuroprotective

/ Author:  / Reviewed by: Joseph V. Madia, MD

(RxWiki News) Current treatments for Parkinson’s disease help with symptoms but unfortunately cannot stop the progression of the disease. A new drug heading into development has shown early promise for slowing or stopping the disease.

The new drug stopped damage to brain cells that occurs in animals with simulated Parkinson’s Disease. An agreement between the group that discovered the drug and a global health company takes this drug one step closer to human trials.

"Consult with your neurologist about emerging treatments for Parkinson's."

The Scripps Institute made an agreement with OPKO Health, Inc. to take the new drug into development. The drug must first go through human clinical trials to find out if the drug will be safe and effective for humans.

Researchers at the Scripps Institute in Florida, led by Philip LoGrasso, Ph.D., have shown that the new drug (called SR 3306 for now) protects brain cells from the type of damage that is caused by Parkinson’s Disease. The drug acts by inhibiting certain enzymes that are known to be important to the survival of neurons.

Parkinson’s Disease symptoms are linked to loss of dopamine neurons in certain brain regions that control muscle movement. LoGrasso and his team published results in 2011 from animal trials showing that SR 3306 protects these types of brain cells from damage.

The researchers stated in one of their recent abstracts, “A therapeutic has yet to be identified that halts this neurodegenerative process, and as such, development of a … neuroprotective agent would represent a significant advancement in the treatment of the disease.”

Scripps Institute researchers published their findings in ACS Chemical Neuroscience, February 7, 2011. The agreement with OPKO Health, Inc. was announced March 8, 2012.

Reviewed by: 
Review Date: 
March 19, 2012
Last Updated:
March 22, 2012