Cortex Pharmaceuticals, Inc. has been awarded a grant by The Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Research (MJFF) to test selected compounds from its AMPAKINE(R) platform for their ability to restore brain function in animal models of Parkinson’s disease.
The award will be used to test Cortex’s selected proprietary High Impact AMPAKINE drug candidates in the mouse MPTP model of Parkinson’s disease (PD), a well-validated model that exhibits many of the hallmarks of human Parkinson’s disease and has been used extensively for drug development in PD. If successful, the work could lead to a neuroprotective treatment for PD with the potential to slow or stop the course of the disease — something no currently available therapy has been proven to do. Current treatments for PD alleviate the symptoms but do not attack the underlying disease, or alter its course. Positive results will support moving selected compounds towards human clinical trials.
The grant was awarded under MJFF’s Therapeutics Development Initiative aimed at supporting industry preclinical development of Parkinson’s disease therapies that have the potential for fundamentally altering disease course and improving treatment of symptoms above and beyond current standards of care. “The award from The Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Research will allow Cortex to further develop its AMPAKINE program toward the ultimate goal of finding a breakthrough treatment for Parkinson’s disease. We are excited to work side by side with the Foundation to speed discovery of therapies that will benefit the five million people living with PD worldwide,” said Mark Varney, Ph.D., President and Chief Executive Officer of Cortex.
Previous research by Cortex and its collaborators, including Professors Gary Lynch and Christine Gall from the University of California, Irvine, have demonstrated that High Impact AMPAKINE molecules stimulate the production and release of certain growth factors in the brain, including brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF). BDNF is essential for maintaining cell health in the normal brain, and plays an important role in restoring function following damage to the brain. Through elevating BDNF in damaged brain regions, the High Impact AMPAKINE compounds may restore function to previously damaged areas, and ameliorate PD symptoms. Additional details, including the investigators, title and abstract of the funded project may be found on the Michael J Fox Foundation website at: http://www.michaeljfox.org/research_MJFFfundingPortfolio_searcha leAwardedGrants_3.cfm?ID668