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KineMed receives $1.2 million from MJFF
EMERYVILLE, Calif.—KineMed, Inc. has announced the receipt of a $1.2 million reinvestment from The Michael J. Fox Foundation to fund the company's ongoing development of kinetic biomarkers that can be used in the drug development process to both accelerate and reduce costs for trials of Parkinson'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 which recognizes that the development of better biomarkers plays a key role in accelerating progress towards a cure for Parkinson's disease," Dr. Patrizia Fanara, Ph.D., vice president of neuroscience at KineMed, said in a press release. "The current difficult in advancing a cure is the pharmaceutical industry's challenge to appraise the myriad proposed treatment strategies in concise, cost-effective trials. Our cerebrospinal fluid kinetic biomarkers measure the rate of neurodegeneration in PD patients within weeks, much sooner than any visible effect in disease progression. These fast readouts are stronger and more actionable, so can help companies decide quickly whether or not a drug is working and which patient is responding."
The company's neuro-biomarker program is working towards the development of robust, lead indicators of disease progression and regression for Parkinson's disease by way of identifying and measuring relevant biochemical changes associated with pathology at the cellular level. The quantitative measurements that such biomarkers could offer can replace the current standard of less-accurate symptomatic measures that can vary frequently due to each patient's condition. These measures are one of the factors leading to slower and more expensive trials for central nervous system drugs, and of all therapeutic areas, the trial length and cost for developing a central nervous system drug is among the highest.
The Tufts Center for the Study of Drug Development released a study in 2011 that reported that an average of 8.1 years is spent in human testing of central nervous system drugs, more than two years longer and more than 50 percent longer in the regulatory approval stage than average drugs. In addition, the study also noted that of central nervous system drugs that begin human testing, only 8.2 percent actually reach the market, almost half of the 15 percent for drugs overall.
"The lack of validated biomarkers for Parkinson's disease is a major hurdle to PD drug development today, and so our Foundation is invested in this critical research," Mark Frasier, Ph.D., vice president of research programs for The Michael J. Fox Foundation, said in a press release. "KineMed's cross-sectional study will look to confirm existing data that we have funded, which has identified biomarkers that are sensitive to subtle changes early in the disease process."
Earlier this year, KineMed announced that it was one of the first funding awardees to be showcased by The Michael J. Fox Foundation Industry Partnering Program. The Michael J. Fox Foundation sponsored KineMed's pathway-based biomarker study of neuronal function, and using the company's proteome dynamics technology, the research demonstrated abnormalities in biochemical pathways in neurons in living brains that are thought to be associated with the pathogenesis and progression of Parkinson's disease.
SOURCE: KineMed press release