Harvard-Singapore team unveil potential Parkinson's cure / 15 Jul 2015

Harvard-Singapore team unveil potential Parkinson's cure / 15 Jul 2015

A team of international scientists announced a medical breakthrough in Singapore on Thursday that could improve millions of lives: existing anti-malaria drugs have the ability to treat Parkinson's disease, according to new research by Nanyang Technological University (NTU) and Harvard Medical School's McLean Hospital.

After screening over 1000 drugs approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, the scientists discovered that chloroquine and amodiaquine—two common anti-malaria treatments—could bind and activate a class of proteins in the brain vital to fight Parkinson's. Called Nurr1, these proteins protect the brain's ability to generate dopamine neurons, which are essential to the body's movement of muscles.

"Backed by various lines of scientific evidence, Nurr1 is known to be a potential drug target to treat Parkinson's. Despite great efforts from pharmaceutical companies and academia, no one has managed to find a molecule which can directly bind to it and activate it, except for us," said Professor Kwang-Soo Kim from Harvard's McLean Hospital.

The scientists are now aiming to design better drugs for the disease by modifying chloroquine and amodiaquine with the hope of carrying out clinical trials soon.

cnbc.com/2015/07/15/potenti...

8 Replies

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  • Thanks for the info RoyProp

    Glad it does not have anything to do with a super power magic ring of wonders.

  • neither is it a hoax, quackery, scam or fraud promotion

    as the two drugs are in use, this should speed-up trials and approval

  • My understanding is that some anti-malaria drugs have serious side effects, more serious than PD but I don't know which ones exactly.

  • The scientists are now aiming to design better drugs for the disease by modifying chloroquine and amodiaquine with the hope of carrying out clinical trials soon.

  • "The only downside to the newly released study is that it's not even in human clinical trials yet. This implies that any developed drugs targeting Nurr1 could be a half decade or longer away from making their way to pharmacy shelves.

    But Parkinson's disease isn't just a killer -- it's also a financial burden on patients, their families, and the healthcare system. The PDF estimates that the direct costs (such as medical costs and hospitalization) and indirect costs (e.g., lost wages and premature death) of Parkinson's disease total almost $25 billion per year! Medication costs the average Parkinson's disease patient more than $200 per month, while therapeutic surgery can run upwards of $100,000.

    Long story short, a variety of therapeutic options are needed to combat Parkinson's disease -- and researchers at Harvard Medical School's McLean Hospital and Singapore's Nanyang Technological University may have discovered the answer."

    fool.com/investing/high-gro...

    I will gladly wait the five years before "making their way to pharmacy shelves."

  • Hate to be a killjoy Roy but where do you get the five years from? I guess if the trials go well and get participants and the FDA approves the use maybe.....

  • This implies that any developed drugs targeting Nurr1 could be a half decade or longer away from making their way to pharmacy shelves.

  • July 20, 2015

    Dear Mr. RoyProp,

    I am a senior Research Project Manager working in the laboratory of Professor Kwang-Soo Kim. We would like to thank you for expressing your interest in our work. We do not have any plan for clinical trials yet but we are keeping your contact information so that you can be notified as soon as plans are established.

    Best,

    Pierre

    Pierre Leblanc, Ph.D.

    Senior Research Project Manager,

    Molecular Neurobiology Laboratory

    McLean Hospital

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