Cure Parkinson’s and Van Andel Institute fund Phase 2 clinical trial of dapansutrile for Parkinson’s

LONDON (Feb. 23, 2024) — Cure Parkinson’s and Van Andel Institute are delighted to announce funding for a Phase 2 clinical trial of dapansutrile, an anti-inflammatory drug, to determine whether it can slow the progression of Parkinson’s.

The DAPA-PD trial will evaluate the safety and tolerability of dapansutrile in Parkinson’s to determine if it can reduce inflammation in the brain. Recent studies suggest that neuroinflammation, or inflammation of the nervous system, may be a driver of Parkinson’s, resulting in a loss of dopamine-producing nerve cells. If dapansutrile can lower neuroinflammation, then it may be able to slow the progression of Parkinson’s.

Caroline Williams-Gray, B.M., B.Ch., MRCP, Ph.D., from University of Cambridge will lead the Phase 2 clinical trial. DAPA-PD will involve 36 people with Parkinson’s, who will be treated with dapansutrile tablets for up to 12 months. The trial will occur in two phases, with the first six months being a randomized, double-blind period where participants receive either dapansutrile or placebo. The next six months will be an open-label extension, meaning all participants have the opportunity to take dapansutrile. The results of this trial will be used to help determine whether dapansutrile should be evaluated in a larger, Phase 3 clinical trial as a potential treatment for Parkinson’s.

Related: Learn more about iLCT ➔

“Professor Williams-Gray and her clinical team in Cambridge has a great deal of experience researching the role of inflammation in Parkinson’s,” said Simon Stott, Ph.D., Cure Parkinson’s Director of Research. “Cure Parkinson’s was delighted to facilitate this research collaboration between Olatec and Cambridge, and we are excited to be funding this important work.”

Dapansutrile was prioritized by the International Linked Clinical Trials (iLCT) program in 2022, an initiative created and operated by Cure Parkinson’s and Van Andel Institute in an effort to speed the search for disease-modifying treatments for Parkinson’s. Dapansutrile is a novel molecule owned by Olatec Therapeutics, Inc., which focuses on developing oral inflammation-targeting therapeutics.

The DAPA-PD trial is funded by Cure Parkinson’s and Van Andel Institute, and is a collaboration between the University of Cambridge and Olatec.

“We are thrilled to support this Phase 2 clinical trial, which explores dapansutrile’s potential to reduce inflammation in the brain,” said Darren Moore, Ph.D., chair of VAI’s Department of Neurodegenerative Science and a member of the iLCT Committee. “Finding ways to slow or stop Parkinson’s is a team effort, and we look forward to continued collaboration.”



Van Andel Institute (VAI) is committed to improving the health and enhancing the lives of current and future generations through cutting-edge biomedical research and innovative educational offerings. Established in Grand Rapids, Michigan, in 1996 by the Van Andel family, VAI is now home to nearly 500 scientists, educators and support staff, who work with a growing number of national and international collaborators to foster discovery. The Institute’s scientists study the origins of cancer, Parkinson’s and other diseases and translate their findings into breakthrough prevention and treatment strategies. Our educators develop inquiry-based approaches for K-12 education to help students and teachers prepare the next generation of problem-solvers, while our Graduate School offers a rigorous, research-intensive Ph.D. program in molecular and cellular biology. Learn more at vai.org.


Cure Parkinson’s funds and facilitates curative research across the globe. Our funding and innovation through our International Linked Clinical Trials Programme has enabled the world’s leading Parkinson’s researchers to collaborate in prioritising the next generation of drugs for clinical trial. In 2022, nearly 30% of all drugs that were being tested in clinical trials as possible cures for Parkinson’s had been evaluated by the iLCT Committee.

Together we will cure Parkinson’s.

Cure Parkinson’s is the operating name of The Cure Parkinson’s Trust. The Cure Parkinson’s Trust is a registered charity in England and Wales (1111816) and Scotland (SCO44368) and is a company limited by guarantee – company number 5539974 (England and Wales).