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Overcoming Valley of Death ?

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Old 11-16-2010, 01:07 PM   #1
pegleg
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I am hoping this hasn't been posted already, but this bears repeating and may be of great interest in the development of new drugs/treatments.

The last really "new" drug approved for Parkinson's was Comtan -or generic name Entacapone in 1999. Rxlist.com says this: "Entacapone is an inhibitor of catechol-O-methyltransferase (COMT), used in the treatment of Parkinson's Disease as an adjunct to levodopa/carbidopa therapy.

Azilect is another form of MAO-Inhibitor, so I didn't count it as new. And Parcopa is just a predissolved form of L-dopa, and Stalevo is a combination of L-dopa and Comtan.

So unless I am wrong it has been a decade since an all new discovery in Parkinsoon's medications has been made. (noto counting DBS, also)

Thus, I am excited about this effort announced in the Wall Street Journal!

"Pfizer Inc. will announce Tuesday a collaboration with University of California, San Francisco, to spur the discovery of new medicines, in the latest instance of a drug maker tapping outside experts for research-and-development help."

The collaboration tackles a particularly difficult stage of drug development—the translation of early scientific research into marketable treatments. That stage of R&D is often referred to as the "Valley of Death" because so many promising compounds fail to advance.

Under the terms, Pfizer would pay up to $85 million over the next five years to help explore whether discoveries in UCSF labs could be turned into new biologic medicines. UCSF researchers will be able to draw upon Pfizer's drug-development know-how, such as its expertise.
* * *
UCSF researchers would be allowed to publish the results of their work, and the university would share with Pfizer ownership rights of any promising developments.
Read full article here: http://online.wsj.com/article/SB1000...ist_smartbrief

Should I be excited???? How can we as patients promote this effort?
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Old 11-16-2010, 04:15 PM   #2
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Hummmm, at the moment I don't know if excitement should be considered. Get me a chunk of hat $85 million and I'll think about it a bit.
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Old 11-17-2010, 07:30 AM   #3
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LOL You may be on to something there!
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Old 11-17-2010, 09:12 AM   #4
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accck well,
i was diagnosed with parkinson's at 26 july 22, 1991.

i just celebrated my 46th birthday in september.

i maxed out all the prescribed doses in 12 hours, for sinemet, comtan and mirapex before i was medically retired in june 2000 at 36.

i've walked through the shadow of death more than upon one occasion.

the harley and tats just mean i don't always do what i'm told.

give my kids and grand kids a small percentage of all that

they can graduate from harvard or yale, mayhap, cure us.
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Old 11-17-2010, 04:15 PM   #5
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Default PD work at Pfizer

The announced partnership continues to underscore that big pharma is working to rethink its strategies for funding innovation and building their pipelines. This is a big initiative (across many indications). Thought I would mention though that Pfizer is doing work in PD...programs they picked up in the Wyeth merger and have continued/expanded. Their continued work and support of our field is evident in their commitment to PPMI. They made a $4M pledge to the project...a great contribution and a great signal. So, a PD partnership too.

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Old 11-17-2010, 06:05 PM   #6
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Debi
This is music to my ears. It has been far too long since a really new medication has been created just for Parkinson's. Most all have been something to extend the life of levodopa/carbidopa, the gold standard of treatment for over 40 years. I am hopeful that the results of the PPMI study will turn this thinking around.

Big pharma should take note how a change in treating Parkinson's has already resulted in a blockbuster - with Medtronics' debut of Deep Brain Stimulation (DBS). Another plus for Medtronics has also been that it has shown to be effective in some cases of dystonia and dyskinesia.

So what can the PD community do to help endorse and support collaborative efforts like Pfizer and universities?
The companies need to do human testing so WE NEED VOLUNTEERS FOR CLINICAL TRIALS!

I know one such source of trial info specific to PD can be found at www.pdtrials.org

Have you done your part?
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Old 11-17-2010, 06:54 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by pegleg View Post
Debi
This is music to my ears. It has been far too long since a really new medication has been created just for Parkinson's. Most all have been something to extend the life of levodopa/carbidopa, the gold standard of treatment for over 40 years. I am hopeful that the results of the PPMI study will turn this thinking around.

Big pharma should take note how a change in treating Parkinson's has already resulted in a blockbuster - with Medtronics' debut of Deep Brain Stimulation (DBS). Another plus for Medtronics has also been that it has shown to be effective in some cases of dystonia and dyskinesia.

So what can the PD community do to help endorse and support collaborative efforts like Pfizer and universities?
The companies need to do human testing so WE NEED VOLUNTEERS FOR CLINICAL TRIALS!

I know one such source of trial info specific to PD can be found at www.pdtrials.org

Have you done your part?
Thanks, Peggy

Most clinical trials are NOT for new drugs, if that is holding people back. If there are clinical trials going on in your community - I hope people who visit this board will go on line to see what trials are going on there. I am always perplexed at the unending complaints about lack of new treatments versus the small number of PWP who choose to be a part of the process.

www.clinicaltrials.gov search on parkinson's disease

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Old 11-17-2010, 08:18 PM   #8
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Well said, Peggy and Jean.
If you sign up for a study and change your mind later, you are not committed to participate to the end of the study.
When I had a unilateral DBS/STN done in '06, I allowed my NSU to insert a new designed lead (multi contacts)and "play around" with it before they put in the approved lead. They also put a hot wired glove on my affect hand and play video games while in the operating room. Also requested that they call my husband from the OR to have a cold margarita waiting for me when I got back to my room. They did but my husband didn't.

There is now apparently a new multi contact lead out there - the source I would have to look up. Unfortunately, DBS precludes you from most studies.
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Old 11-17-2010, 08:58 PM   #9
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TG - I hadn't heard about the DBS multi-color lead - what is its benefit?

A guy in our support group went to a VA in Virginia and is testing a new 9-year battery! I think 3-5 years was previously the life (of the battery lol)

It was a big decision (and still is) t o do a clinical trial requiringn brain surgery - not just the risks, but it usually excludes you from other trials. Why? Because if you have had something surgically implanted, the new treatment may cause problems (like an interaction) or the research will not be able to tell if it was the implant or the new treatment.

Jean - how many trials have you been in? I think all total, I have been in 4 - and one was surgical.
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Old 11-17-2010, 09:26 PM   #10
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Peg,

I think around 10 clinical trials for me. The first one lasted 2 years for a new drug. (I joined that first trial 6 months after my diagnosis) Then follow-on trials/studies including SPECT scan trial, and 2 trials with my husband (as control) for biomarkers.

My doctor is also a researcher and they call me if there is a study that I qualify for.

Jean
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