Parkinsons Medicines in Development Report, 2014

Nearly 40 Medicines Are Being Developed to Treat or Diagnose Parkinson’s Disease and Related Conditions

Parkinson’s disease affects as many as 1.5 million Americans, with about 60,000 additional patients newly diagnosed each year, and costs the U.S. economy more than $14 billion a year. America’s biopharmaceutical research companies are working hard to develop new treatments, and are currently developing 37 new medicines to help patients living with Parkinson’s, a chronic, progressive neurological disease. Our new report highlights these advances, as well as the latest information regarding Parkinson's research. 

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Considered a motor system disorder—resulting from the loss of dopamine-producing brain cells—symptoms of Parkinson’s disease include tremor, rigidity and instability and non-motor symptoms such as cognitive changes, difficulty swallowing and speaking, and sleep disruptions, among others.

All of the potential medications are either in clinical trials or awaiting review by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

Research into new, effective treatments for Parkinson’s disease has proven to be difficult, most likely because what actually causes the dopamine-producing cells to die off is not known. The exciting news is that recent advances and discoveries in science, including the identification of genes specific to Parkinson’s, have sparked research and development into new treatment approaches.

The medicines in the R&D pipeline today offer hope of reducing the human and economic costs of Parkinson’s disease. Some of these potential advances include:

  • A gene therapy that targets the part of the brain that controls movement.
  • A new medicine that targets a receptor found in the brain where degeneration and abnormality are often seen in Parkinson’s disease.
  • New delivery mechanisms of approved treatments, including an intranasal formulation and an intestinal gel.

Continue reading in PhRMA’s 2014 Medicines in Development: Parkinson’s Disease Report.