Scientific technology company Renishaw is being supported by the Horizon 2020 programme for its trials of a new drug delivery system aiming to help treat Parkinson’s disease.
Renishaw’s drug delivery system will be used in partnership with pharma company Herantis Pharma’s drug CDNF in p phase 1-2 clinical trials. The study will be supported by a €6 million grant from Horizon 2020, the European Union’s Framework Programme for Research and Innovation.
Renishaw’s drug delivery system works by allowing the medication to bypass the blood-brain barrier, enabling it to deliver drugs directly into the brain tissue. The 18 patients in the trial will have a small port implanted into the skull close to the ear, allowing clinicians to deliver the CDNF drug through four tubes, carefully placed into the patients’ brains.
The delivery system could potentially be extremely beneficial to sufferers of Parkinson’s disease. The disease, as well as other neurodegenerative disorders is notoriously difficult to target due to the protective role of the blood-brain barrier.
Parkinson’s is caused by the break-down of dopamine producing neurons in the brain. Symptoms such as involuntary shaking, stiffness of muscles and the slowing down of movement can initially be managed with medication. There is however no treatment that prevents the disease’s progression or that treats the motor and non-motor symptoms together.
Renishaw is one of eleven partners working together to execute the clinical trials in a hope to relieve the symptoms of Parkinson’s disease by protecting and regenerating dopamine producing neurons.
Paul Skinner, operations manager for Renishaw’s Neurological Products Division, said: “We are very pleased to be able to contribute our engineering technology and experience to this important trial. Our drug delivery system has shown promising initial results and we look forward to working closely with Herantis and the other partners to achieve the best possible outcomes for the patients.”