Van Andel Institute, Cure Parkinson’s renew $4.5 million co-funding agreement to support collaborative Parkinson’s clinical trials program

Grand Rapids, Mich. (March 13, 2023)Cure Parkinson’s and Van Andel Institute (VAI) are delighted to announce that their co-funding agreement, which supports collaborative Parkinson’s clinical trials, has been renewed for another three years. The agreement pledges USD $4.5 million in match-funding to Parkinson’s research, strengthening an already long-standing partnership. The agreement also opens the possibility of joint fundraising for further funds for research.

From left to right: Cure Parkinson’s CEO Will Cook, Van Andel Institute Chief Strategic Officer Dr. Jerry Callahan, Cure Parkinson’s Deputy CEO Helen Matthews and Van Andel Institute Professor and Chair of the Department of Neurodegenerative Science Dr. Darren Moore. Photo courtesy of Cure Parkinson’s.

This funding will support the International Linked Clinical Trials (iLCT) initiative, a thriving global program that aims to develop new potentially disease-modifying Parkinson’s therapies, many of which are repurposed medications originally designed or approved to treat other diseases.

Since iLCT’s inception in 2012, Cure Parkinson’s and VAI have ensured the initiative continues to grow, as more clinical trials of potentially disease-modifying drugs are launched within the program. Each side match-funds the other with contributions to trials. The 2023 agreement extends this effort for three years to the extent of $4.5 million of match-funding, and also envisages collaborative fundraising initiatives.

Earlier this year, Cure Parkinson’s and VAI announced that a large-scale phase 3 trial of ambroxol, a drug currently used to treat respiratory conditions, will begin in 2023. The trial will test the drug’s potential to slow the progression of Parkinson’s — something not possible with current treatments. A large phase 3 trial of diabetes drug exenatide is also currently underway, with results expected in 2024. Trials of both drugs have been supported by the iLCT program.

Since the program was launched, over 4,700 people have taken part in iLCT trials. 21 trials are ongoing, and 20 trials have completed, with many more drugs in the pipeline.

Will Cook, CEO of Cure Parkinson’s, said:

“We are delighted to announce this funding agreement, which underpins the next three years of investment in Parkinson’s research and builds on the excellent relationship developed with VAI since 2012. This will enable the launch of more clinical trials of potentially disease-modifying drugs that have been identified through the ground-breaking iLCT process. It brings us closer to changing the future for the 10 million people living with Parkinson’s globally.”

Darren Moore, Ph.D., Chair of VAI’s Department of Neurodegenerative Science and member of the iLCT Scientific Committee, said:

“We are thrilled to continue partnering with Cure Parkinson’s to support the International Linked Clinical Trials initiative and our collective pursuit of new treatments that could slow or stop Parkinson’s progression. Together, we are committed to finding life-changing therapies that give people more years with improved quality of life.”

This announcement was originally published by Cure Parkinson’s.

About Van Andel Institute

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.

About Cure Parkinson’s

Cure Parkinson’s funds and facilitates curative research across the globe. Our funding and innovation through our International Linked Clinical Trials Program has enabled the world’s leading Parkinson’s researchers to collaborate in prioritizing the next generation of drugs for clinical trial. 40% of all drugs that are being researched as possible cures for Parkinson’s have been prioritized by iLCT.

Together we will cure Parkinson’s.

Further information at www.cureparkinsons.org.uk