Back to the Future star's foundation funds Cambridge firm's Parkinson's research

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26/04/2017

Movie star Michael J Fox is backing the work of a Cambridge life sciences firm looking into a new treatment for Parkinson’s disease.

Cambridge’s Mission Therapeutics has received the undisclosed grant from the Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Research (MJFF) to support the testing of Mission Therapeutics’ potent and selective USP30-targeted inhibitors in Parkinson’s disease models developed by Professor Richard Wade-Martins and his research group at the University of Oxford. The inhibition of USP30 is being studied to see if it improves cellular resilience in to Parkinson’s and other neurodegenerative diseases.

Dr Michael Koslowski, executive vice president for R&D, as well as chief medical officer at Mission Therapeutics, said: “Receiving funding from the Michael J. Fox Foundation is a great accolade, recognizing the quality of the research being done by Mission Therapeutics and Professor Wade-Martins and his group.

"The collaborative study will provide key data that will guide the clinical development strategy of our USP30 inhibitor programme. We are working hard to find new ways in which to tackle this difficult disease, which is especially highlighted during this World Parkinson Awareness week, for patients and their families.”

Shalini Padmanabhan, PhD, associate director of research programs at MJFF, added: “USP30 is one of the more promising DUBs associated with mitophagy, in terms of published data and feasibility of compound development.

"We hope that this collaboration between Mission Therapeutics and Oxford Parkinson’s Disease Centre will promote our understanding of the mechanisms and consequences of USP30 inhibition in Parkinson’s disease.”


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