Swiss Biotech Starts Phase II Trial to Treat Motor Symptoms of Parkinson’s

Prexton Therapeutics parkinsons trial

Prexton Therapeutics has launched a Phase II trial to test whether its drug foliglurax can treat the motor complications of standard levodopa therapy.

The Phase II trial will enroll 165 patients across the UK, Germany, France, Austria, Spain and Italy to monitor the effects of Prexton’s foliglurax. The company is looking for patients that have been treated with standard levodopa therapy and are experiencing loss of efficacy and dyskinesia, i.e. uncontrolled movements. The trial, funded through Prexton’s €29M Series B this February, will compare the amount of time during the day when the medication wears off and symptoms get worse.

Traditional approaches like the administration of levodopa target dopaminergic neurons, whose activity is affected by Parkinson’s. However, as the disease progresses the treatment wears off and motor complications appear. In order to circumvent these issues, Prexton’s foliglurax activates mGluR4 receptors in the glutamatergic neuronal system, which is not affected by PD and can compensate for the loss of function of the dopaminergic system.

If successful, Prexton Therapeutics will have to compete in the Parkinson’s market with Newron, whose drug Xadago was approved earlier this year in the US following its approval in Europe in 2015, making it the first globally approved drug for Parkinson’s in 11 years. Other competitors include the Promethera and Roche team, which announced last week a Phase II trial for their anti-α-synuclein antibody.

Image via jm1366 / Shutterstock

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