The Michael J. Fox Foundation Partners with Blackfynn for Biomarker Discovery in Parkinson's Disease

PHILADELPHIA and NEW YORK, Oct. 24, 2018 /PRNewswire/ -- The Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson's Research (MJFF) and Blackfynn, a company developing the leading data integration and analysis platform to accelerate treatments for neurological diseases, today announce a new partnership focused on deriving insights from the MJFF-sponsored Parkinson's Progression Markers Initiative (PPMI) that could lead to discovery of disease biomarkers and new treatments for Parkinson's disease (PD).

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PPMI is a longitudinal, observational, multi-center study of more than 1,300 participants to comprehensively evaluate cohorts of significant interest using advanced imaging, biologic sampling and clinical and behavioral assessments to identify biomarkers of PD progression. In order to maximize the learning potential from this rich source of patient data, the PPMI Steering Committee launched an Advanced Analytics Core to apply advanced analyses to PD biomarker discovery. As part of this effort, Blackfynn was chosen to lead the PPMI Advanced Analytics Core.

"The goal of the Advanced Analytics Core is to accelerate our analysis of the comprehensive within-subject data collected through PPMI," said Kenneth Marek, MD, PPMI Principal Investigator. "By combining this rich, multimodal data with Blackfynn's platform and data science expertise, we hope to uncover insights into the determinants of PD progression that will lead to new therapies and improved quality of life for patients with Parkinson's disease."

The Blackfynn data platform integrates medical and scientific data of all types — imaging, genomics, sensor and device data, EEG, video, clinical data and related metadata — to enable rapid exploration of data relationships and dynamic data visualizations to address complex scientific and clinical questions. The Blackfynn platform will be used by PPMI investigators to analyze data, develop testable hypotheses and more effectively collaborate, enabling more targeted translational research across academia and industry.

"Our work with MJFF and the PPMI investigators will maximize the value of this important patient dataset and help drive novel discovery with the potential to lead to the development of effective therapies for patients with PD," said Amanda Christini, MD, President of Blackfynn. "Blackfynn will enable a new lens through which discoveries can be made, by looking at all raw and metadata together, in context, to find new patterns that are otherwise obscured when data are in isolation."

About The Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson's Research
As the world's largest nonprofit funder of Parkinson's research, The Michael J. Fox Foundation is dedicated to accelerating a cure for Parkinson's disease and improved therapies for those living with the condition today. The Foundation pursues its goals through an aggressively funded, highly targeted research program coupled with active global engagement of scientists, Parkinson's patients, business leaders, clinical trial participants, donors and volunteers. In addition to funding more than $800 million in research to date, the Foundation has fundamentally altered the trajectory of progress toward a cure. Operating at the hub of worldwide Parkinson's research, the Foundation forges groundbreaking collaborations with industry leaders, academic scientists and government research funders; increases the flow of participants into Parkinson's disease clinical trials with its online tool, Fox Trial Finder; promotes Parkinson's awareness through high-profile advocacy, events and outreach; and coordinates the grassroots involvement of thousands of Team Fox members around the world. For more information, visit

About Blackfynn
Blackfynn has developed the leading data integration and analysis platform to transform the treatment of neurological diseases. We use our platform and expert team to drive development of disease-modifying therapeutic drugs, enable personalized therapeutic devices and accelerate translational research. Blackfynn has collaborations in place with Marinus Pharmaceuticals, the Epilepsy Study Consortium, the NIH Stimulating Peripheral Activity to Relieve Conditions (SPARC) program, the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP), DARPA, NIDA and dozens of academic labs and institutions worldwide. For more information, visit

Media Contact:
For MJFF: 
Allison Boiles
The Michael J. Fox Foundation 

For Blackfynn:

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