Parkinson’s Institute and Clinical Center Collaborates with Merck to Evaluate LRRK2 Kinase Inhibition in Preclinical Model of Parkinson’s Disease

Feb. 5, 2018 20:00 UTC

SUNNYVALE, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE)-- The Parkinson’s Institute and Clinical Center has entered into a collaboration with Merck, known as MSD outside the United States and Canada, to study the effects of LRRK2 kinase inhibitors on non-motor symptoms in a preclinical model of gastrointestinal (GI) dysfunction in Parkinson’s disease. Mutations in the LRRK2 gene cause Parkinson’s and it is our goal to determine if therapies that block the negative effect of the mutation can be used to slow or stop the progression of Parkinson’s disease.

The agreement will combine the unique expertise of the Institute in the basic research and clinical treatment of Parkinson’s disease with Merck’s neuroscience drug discovery capabilities to evaluate whether modulation of LRRK2 kinase activity with pharmacological inhibitors slows or prevents alpha synuclein production related GI toxicity in animal models.

The collaboration focuses on understanding whether investigational LRRK2 inhibitor compounds can alter the production of toxic alpha synuclein proteins that affect those with genetic mutations that enhance LRRK2 kinase activity and cause the symptoms of Parkinson’s disease. “We plan to determine the effect on GI function and correlate that with the modulation of LRRK2 and toxic alpha synuclein proteins,” said Dr. Carrolee Barlow, CEO Parkinson’s Institute and Clinical Center. “This is a unique opportunity for a leading biopharmaceutical company and a world-renowned research institute to collaborate on Parkinson’s,” said Dr. Barlow.

The study is being partially funded by the Michael J. Fox Foundation.

About the Parkinson’s Institute and Clinical Center:

The Parkinson’s Institute and Clinical Center is at the forefront of patient care and therapy development. We are the nation’s only Institute that provides patient care, basic science research, and clinical research in one integrated model. Our unique freestanding organization directly connects research to patient care – from the “bench to bedside.” For 30 years, our team of epidemiologists, physicians, scientists, and therapists, have been at the forefront of every clinical and scientific discovery in the field of Parkinson’s research.

Since our inception, patients have come from 38 states and many foreign countries for their care. We have managed more than 125 clinical research trials, medically evaluating more than 90 different drugs and therapies for Parkinson’s. The result: our Institute has been directly involved in bringing every Parkinson’s drug currently available to the market. The Institute is at the forefront of discovering and developing the latest, most innovative treatments and therapies for people living with Parkinson's.

For more information visit or call (408) 734-2800.



Parkinson’s Institute and Clinical Center
Chris Di Salvo, 408-506-0455



Source: Parkinson’s Institute and Clinical Center

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