UCB’s commitment to enable people with Parkinson’s to live engaged, full, active lives on World Parkinson’s Day
Article co-authored by Erik Janssen, Patient Value Unit – Neurology, Pierandrea Muglia, Patient Value Unit - New Medicines, Martin Citron, Patient Value Unit - New Medicines.
Across the world there are over 6.3 million people living with the Parkinson’s disease (PD) – a chronic and progressive movement disorder. The cause of the condition is unknown, and the experience of living with Parkinson’s varies considerably from one person to another.
Individuals experience different symptoms beyond movement, such as sleep disturbance, pain and anxiety which can impact their lives significantly. Although there is currently no cure, there are treatment options and management approaches that may enable people with Parkinson’s to maintain their mobility and independence, and live active and productive lives.
At UCB, through our patient-inspired, science-driven approach, we’re committed to providing innovative solutions for people with Parkinson’s.
We understand that people with Parkinson’s and their families need to figure out how to deal with their own experience of PD, and the extent to which this can be hindered by the complexity of the treatment ecosystem - which varies greatly by country depending on healthcare systems and support services available. We know that as the condition progresses, patients struggle to maintain their independence. We also know how important maintaining a full and active life can be for people with Parkinson’s.
With this in mind, UCB’s focus is to support the global Parkinson’s community to develop approaches and solutions that help meet individual needs in a tailored and holistic way, providing people with confidence, reassurance and the ability to cope with their condition when they face moments of doubt. We understand the importance of allowing people with Parkinson’s, as well as their loved ones, to maintain their sense of self.
UCB has adopted an ‘outside-in’ approach in order to deepen our understanding of real-life experiences of people with Parkinson’s. We have worked together with a variety of partners to co-create solutions with the ultimate aim of achieving motion freedom. For example:
- Alongside six of the world’s largest pharmaceutical companies, and Parkinson’s UK, one of the world’s largest charity funders of Parkinson’s research, UCB is an active member of the Critical Path for Parkinson’s Disease group. This ground-breaking consortium is focused on designing disease modification trials for Parkinson’s, and has the endorsement of an independent scientific committee. Together we are engaging with regulatory agencies in both the US and EU to accelerate the pace – and reduce the costs – of getting Parkinson’s treatments to the market.
- We have partnered with Tubingen University to identify biomarkers to help in early diagnosis and tracking progression of Parkinson’s disease. Through this earlier identification, we hope to extend the window of treatment which could allow for more personalized and targeted treatment strategies with the goal of improving management.
- We have also collaborated with the École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL) to conduct preclinical research on alpha-synuclein, a key protein involved in Parkinson’s. The goal of the project that started two years ago is to identify the best targets for blocking the progression of the disease.
- Our company is actively involved in exploring potential new treatment options for Parkinson’s. In conjunction with our partner, Neuropore Therapies, we are investigating a novel potential treatment for Parkinson’s disease which, whilst at a very early stage, in the future could offer patients a new disease modifying treatment, beyond symptom control.
- In addition, we are also collaborating with the cutting edge technology firm MC10 Inc. to explore how biosensors can bring new solutions to empower people with Parkinson’s.