Bringing value to patients living with Parkinson’s disease
Posted byMartin Citron, Neurology Early Solutions
As the world’s neurology community gathers for the 73rd American Academy of Neurology (AAN) Annual Meeting, UCB is showcasing some of its early research in Parkinson’s disease. At UCB, developing new solutions for neurodegenerative diseases such as Parkinson’s disease is an important component of our early research programs - our long-term ambition is to change the treatment paradigm from symptom management to disease modification.
In the past drug development in Parkinson’s disease has mostly focused on the management of motor symptoms (e.g. tremor, rigidity, slowness of movement, balance problems). This has been quite positive within the early stages of the disease, where many symptoms can be controlled. We, and others in the industry, are now trying to get to the next level, improving not only symptoms, but slowing or halting the progression of disease based on our improved understanding of the pathological processes that drive disease progression.
Many neurodegenerative diseases are characterized by the aggregation of specific proteins, such as α-synuclein in Parkinson’s disease. By preventing α-synuclein from ‘clumping’, clearing it out, or stopping its spread from cell to cell, researchers believe they may prevent or slow Parkinson’s progression. This is a focus of our research at UCB. In addition, we are also looking at how we can help improve symptom management, particularly for people living with advanced Parkinson’s disease. Behind these development programs we are pursuing earlier stage research projects to address specific forms of Parkinson’s disease with gene therapy.
We are committed to helping develop new solutions for people living with Parkinson’s disease. Slowing of disease progression in Parkinson’s disease has not been demonstrated yet with any approach, but we are undaunted by the challenge.