Australian Government invests in innovative genomic testing in Linked Clinical Trials program

This story originally appeared on The Cure Parkinson’s Trust website. To learn more, click here.


It was announced today that the Australian Parkinson’s Mission – an international collaboration between the Garvan Institute of Medical Research, Shake It Up Australia Foundation, Parkinson’s Australia, The Cure Parkinson’s Trust (CPT) and the Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s – has been awarded a A$30 million government grant to identify and fast-track better treatments in a first step towards personalised medicine in Parkinson’s.

The Cure Parkinson’s Trust’s Linked Clinical Trials (LCT) initiative was founded on the principle of collaboration and since its launch in 2012, the programme has brought together global experts in the Parkinson’s arena to ensure that clinical trials of potentially disease-modifying treatments for people with Parkinson’s get underway with urgency. This innovative Australian-led programme of research expands the global Linked Clinical Trials programme spearheaded by CPT and establishes a first step towards personalised medicine providing an opportunity to deliver multiple clinical trials that incorporate advanced genetic and biomarker studies in a way that has not been done before.

The Australian Parkinson’s Mission will test the effectiveness of four repurposed drugs selected by the International Linked Clinical Trials committee that may potentially slow, stop or even reverse Parkinson’s.

Associate Professor Antony Cooper, Head of Neurodegeneration and Neurogenomics at the Garvan Institute, and LCT committee member said:

The Australian Parkinson’s Mission employs an entirely new design for Parkinson’s. The findings from our clinical trials will be integrated with analyses of patients’ genomic information and biomarkers – naturally occurring measurable indicators of a disease. This will help us identify the right drug for the right patient at the right time to halt this disease.

Professor Patrik Brundin, Van Andel Research Institute (LCT partner funder) and Chair, LCT Committee said:

I am incredibly excited to see that the Linked Clinical Trials programme has sparked this significant investment into Parkinson clinical trials in Australia. Right now we are at a particularly exciting time, when several drugs have shown promise in laboratory tests and early clinical trials. I am hopeful that in the not too distant future the Parkinson’s research community will finally find a treatment that slows progression of the disease.