NEW YORK, Aug. 2, 2018 /PRNewswire/ -- As part of its ambitious mission to speed breakthrough treatments and a cure for Parkinson's disease, The Michael J. Fox Foundation (MJFF) today announced up to $7.5 million in available funding for investigator-initiated projects. Pre-proposals are invited now through September 26, with funding anticipated in May 2019.
The Foundation will fund projects in four areas aiming to (1) explore new biological targets for therapeutic development; (2) advance objective measures of disease and therapeutic impact; (3) enable testing of potential new treatments; and (4) identify protective pharmacological or lifestyle factors.
"Our core goals are to better understand, measure, treat and – most significantly – prevent Parkinson's disease," said MJFF CEO Todd Sherer, PhD. "We ask scientists to bring us their promising, innovative projects in these areas to move the needle closer to cures and better quality of life for people living with this disease today."
Seeking New Strategies to Stop Disease: Target Advancement Program ($1.5 million)
The Target Advancement Program seeks to build supporting evidence to rationalize biological targets and pathways for Parkinson's therapeutic development. Many proteins and pathways are involved in the cascade that leads to Parkinson's onset and progression. These targets offer scientists potential opportunities to intervene to slow or stop disease progression.
Applicants may request up to $150,000 for 12- to 18-month grants. Funding will support projects focused on targets believed to underlie Parkinson's neurodegeneration and/or dysfunction and those relevant to motor and non-motor symptoms.
Measuring Disease and Treatment Effect: Improved Biomarkers and Clinical Outcome Measures ($1.5 million)
This program funds projects to develop objective tests that can enable and accelerate therapeutic development, including efforts to improve diagnosis, track disease progression, enrich subject populations or detect a treatment response or target engagement. Objective biological measures of disease (i.e., biomarkers) of Parkinson's would transform clinical trial design and the interpretation of results, speeding research and supporting industry investments.
Applicants may request up to $750,000 for one- to three-year grants.
Advancing Treatments: Therapeutic Pipeline Program ($3 million)
The Therapeutic Pipeline Program aims to speed the development of Parkinson's therapeutics with the potential to fundamentally alter disease course and/or significantly improve treatment of symptoms beyond current standards of care. Despite unprecedented momentum in Parkinson's drug development, no treatment has yet been demonstrated to slow or stop disease progression. Existing treatments target symptoms, but leave many aspects of Parkinson's under-addressed or unaddressed, and bring serious side effects.
Applicants may request up to $500,000 over one to two years for pre-clinical programs or up to $2 million over two to three years for clinical programs.
Pointing to Prevention: Using Epidemiological Datasets to Identify Protective Factors ($1.5 million)
This new funding program seeks to identify factors identified through epidemiology, such as lifestyle behaviors (e.g., diet or exercise) or use of pharmacological or other medical interventions, that could decrease the risk of Parkinson's and be used to develop prevention and treatment approaches.
Applicants may request up to $500,000 over one to two years for analysis of existing data. This program is not appropriate for data collection efforts.
Pre-proposals Due September 26, 2018
The deadline for pre-proposals for all four programs is 5 p.m. ET, Wednesday, September 26, 2018. Cross-disciplinary researchers and those new to Parkinson's disease are especially encouraged to apply. Funding is open to academic and industry scientists worldwide.
The Foundation will host an informational webinar at 12 p.m. ET on Thursday, September 6, 2018, to review the aims of these programs, detail the funding process and answer applicant questions. To register for the webinar and download funding applications, visit www.michaeljfox.org/funding.
The Target Advancement Program, Therapeutic Pipeline Program and Improved Biomarkers and Clinical Outcome Measures Program are the Edmond J. Safra Core Programs for PD Research.
MJFF has funded more than 3,000 Parkinson's research projects to date and its on-staff team of PhDs, one MD and business-trained project managers currently oversee a portfolio of more than 700 active grants. In addition to creating critical research tools, galvanizing an engaged community of supporters and research volunteers, and advocating for policy and regulatory decisions to advance Parkinson's research and care, the Foundation catalyzes scientific discovery and progress toward therapies with its funding for investigator-driven research projects.
About The Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson's Research
As the world's largest nonprofit funder of Parkinson's research, The Michael J. Fox Foundation is dedicated to accelerating a cure for Parkinson's disease and improved therapies for those living with the condition today. The Foundation pursues its goals through an aggressively funded, highly targeted research program coupled with active global engagement of scientists, Parkinson's patients, business leaders, clinical trial participants, donors and volunteers. In addition to funding more than $800 million in research to date, the Foundation has fundamentally altered the trajectory of progress toward a cure. Operating at the hub of worldwide Parkinson's research, the Foundation forges groundbreaking collaborations with industry leaders, academic scientists and government research funders; increases the flow of participants into Parkinson's disease clinical trials with its online tool, Fox Trial Finder; promotes Parkinson's awareness through high-profile advocacy, events and outreach; and coordinates the grassroots involvement of thousands of Team Fox members around the world. For more information, visit us on the Web, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Pinterest.
SOURCE The Michael J. Fox Foundation