Michael J. Fox Foundation Commits Up to $3 Million for High-Impact Clinical Research

Mar 29, 2007, 01:00 ET from The Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson's Research

    NEW YORK, March 29 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The Michael J. Fox
 Foundation for Parkinson's Research (MJFF) announced today the launch of
 its 2007 Clinical Discovery Program. This annual program seeks out
 proposals that stimulate well-designed clinical research projects focused
 on potentially high-impact approaches to the field of Parkinson's disease.
 If successful, projects funded under this program could lead to improved
 treatment of PD within five years and have an immediate impact on patients'
     The Clinical Discovery Program aims to meet the Foundation's goal of
 driving the delivery of promising therapies to patients and enabling
 researchers to bridge the gap between lab results and clinical research in
 a short period of time. With a comprehensive view of the field, the
 Foundation is ideally positioned to identify opportunities and create
 synergies all along the continuum from basic to clinical research.
     "The Clinical Discovery Program is one of many initiatives in the MJFF
 portfolio aiming to accelerate progress toward the clinic and directly
 benefit patients," said Sarah Orsay, chief executive officer of The Michael
 J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson's Research. "Many clinical ideas hold
 potential to lead to new treatments, but lack the funding they need to move
 forward. This initiative allows the Foundation to identify the teams that
 can execute these ideas and bring us closer to delivering better treatments
 to Parkinson's patients."
     The Foundation launched the Clinical Discovery Program in 2004 and has
 awarded approximately $7 million for 12 projects under the initiative to
 date. The Foundation particularly seeks projects that explore new
 neuroprotective treatments, improvements on existing therapies, and
 development of treatments for unmet symptoms of PD. Consenting human
 subjects, either as direct research participants or as donors of biological
 specimens are crucial in order for an application to be considered for this
     "The Clinical Discovery Program provides critical funding for "proof of
 principle" clinical studies and trials involving the active participation
 of small sample populations," said Gene Johnson, PhD, the Foundation's
 chief scientific advisor. "Directly testing hypotheses in consenting PD
 patients is a critical step in developing and driving new therapeutics to
 people with Parkinson's."
     The Clinical Discovery Program is an investigator-initiated,
 peer-reviewed program that will provide up to $3 million in funding for
 clinical research projects involving active patient participation for up to
 three years. Additionally, the Foundation is concurrently launching a
 Biomarkers 2007 focused program. Projects applying to Clinical Discovery
 2007 to develop and validate Parkinson's disease biomarkers will, at the
 discretion of MJFF staff, be reviewed as part of the Biomarkers 2007
     Pre-proposals are required and must be submitted online by May 10,
 2007. Information about submitting pre-proposals online can be found on the
 Foundation's Web site (http://www.michaeljfox.org). Pre-proposals will be
 reviewed by the Foundation's scientific staff and a panel of scientific
 experts. Applicants whose pre-proposals are determined to meet the review
 criteria will be invited to submit full application proposals. Funding is
 anticipated by November 2007.
     About The Michael J. Fox Foundation
     Founded in 2000, The Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson's Research
 is dedicated to ensuring the development of a cure for Parkinson's disease
 within this decade through an aggressively funded research agenda. The
 Foundation has funded over $90 million in research to date, either directly
 or through partnerships.

SOURCE The Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson's Research