There’s $12.7 Million Behind This New Parkinson’s Hypothesis

A new biotech company in Philadelphia called Enterin announced recently that their company has raised a whopping $12.7 million to support the hypothesis that Parkinson’s disease starts in the gut, contrary to the popular belief that it begins in the brain.

Parkinson’s disease is a nervous system disorder that is chronic and progressive. It often causes stiffness of the limbs, tremors, slow movement, and instability (impaired coordination).

Because Parkinson’s disease is a progressive disorder, over time the body begins to show worsening symptoms of the disease. There is no cure for Parkinson’s at the moment, although various treatments can drastically improve symptoms. To learn more about Parkinson’s disease, click here.

But what is all of this money going towards?
Michael Zasloff, MD, PhD, Founder, Chairman, and CEO of Enterin explains that these funds will allow the company complete an ongoing Phase II clinical trial of Parkinson’s disease, which will overall help enhance an understanding of the pathology of the disease, specifically with regards to the protein alpha-synulein and/or other indications. Dr. Zasloff also believes that the investors in this research can also provide valuable guidance and expertise along this process.

In addition to the current Phase II study, some of the money will also go towards a Phase 1/2 trial of another leading drug candidate for Parkinson’s disease, ENT-01. This treatment’s goal is to target alpha-synuclein, as it is currently believed that this protein plays an important role in the development of Parkinson’s.

Enterin’s hypothesis concerns the protein called alpha-synuclein. He believes that it first accumulates in the intestinal nerves of Parkinson’s disease patients before the symptoms of the disease in the central nervous system are evident; as a result, these patients experience constipation way before they see any brain or motor damage.
The oral drug, ENT-01, has been manufactured to target the alpha-synuclein within nerve cells in the enteric nervous system (the nerves in the gut). With this testing, Enterin wants to find out if this drug can also relieve the constipation that is commonly attached to Parkinson’s disease.
This study is a lot more complex than it looks, however.

Dr. Denise Barbut, MD, Co-Founder, President and Chief Medical Officer of Enterin explains that even though this study revolves around the enteric nervous system and its functional improvement,

“…we are closely monitoring central nervous system symptoms such as sleep, REM-behavior disorder, depression, fatigue, and even motor symptoms.”

In addition, there may be more riding on this particular study than originally thought, as Dr. Barbut also notes that this drug may have the potential to also slow the progression of other diseases that are neurodegenerative and have a dysfunction of the enteric nervous system.

It’s a good thing there’s $12.7 million behind this project, because these trials could change the way we think about Parkinson’s disease and could mean really big things for the future of Parkinson’s treatment.

To learn more about Enterin’s hypothesis and studies, check out Fierce Biotech here. Additional information can also be found here.

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