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Parkinson’s Victoria welcomes promising research led by Victorian scientists

Jun. 14, 2019

Parkinson’s Victoria has welcomed the positive results of a Phase 1 human clinical trial involving a compound (CuATSM) developed by Victorian researchers which showed symptom improvements to a small test group of people living with Parkinson’s.

The compound was developed through The Florey Institute of Neuroscience and Mental Health, University of Melbourne and Bio21 Institute. It went into clinical trial at the Royal Melbourne Hospital in three separate groups of people in the early stages of Parkinson’s, with 19 people treated for six months.

The work in mouse models of Parkinson’s disease found the compound inhibits the type of brain damage that is seen in Parkinsons.

Clinical researchers were encouraged by the fact that the greater the dose of CuATSM in humans the greater the benefits in relation to quality of life and movement disability.

“For 27,000 Victorians living with Parkinson’s, these results offer hope. At the same time, people need to know in terms of drug development, this research is in its infancy stage. Any potential to changes lives is many years away,” said Parkinson’s Victoria CEO Emma Collin.

“However, what the results do highlight is the calibre of research and researchers in Victoria, including Parkinson’s Victoria Chair, Professor David Finkelstein and many others who played a key role in the development of the compound.”

The Parkinson’s results were released only months after similar findings were reported in a Motor Neurone Disease (MND) trial involving the same compound.

Ms Collin said Parkinson’s Victoria had reached out to both the scientists and neurologists who have developed and trailed CuATSM, who are very happy with the results to date.

“It is not currently known if these initial results will lead to further trials, but we will keep our community informed if, and when, any information comes to hand,” she said.

Clinical trials are run to test possible new treatments. Typically they are placebo controlled and are blinded. This mean if you participate you may not get the real treatment and the researchers do not know who is receiving the treatment. Trials are randomised so you don’t have a choice as to which group you will be in.

Selection for participation in clinical trial is very precise so any changes in response to treatment are detected early by the researchers.

Participation in clinical trials is dependent on a number of factors, including who is doing the research and the number of people being sought for the trial. Some trials are closed to general applications.

Often participants also need to be on a certain level of treatment and at a specific point in progression of the condition to be chosen for a clinical trial. This is measured on condition-specific rating scales (eg, the United Parkinson’s Disease Rating scale-UPDRS).

Parkinson’s Victoria will always advise our community of any appropriate and relevant clinical trials taking place in Victoria. The best way to stay informed is to follow our Facebook page. www.facebook.com/parkinsonsvic

Watch the news story here.

 

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