Biogen and Denali Therapeutics are working together to develop DNL151, a treatment for Parkinson’s disease. This medication will move into late-stage trials after positive data from ongoing Phase 1/1b studies. These trials are planned to begin next year.
About Parkinson’s Disease
Parkinson’s disease is a progressive disorder that affects the central nervous system (CNS). It is characterized by its effect on movement through five different stages. As the disease progresses, severity increases.
Stage one is characterized by subtle tremors on one side of the body. In stage two symptoms are more noticeable, with tremors and rigidity on both sides of the body. Stage three brings loss of balance and slowed movement. Stage four makes it impossible for one to live independently. Stage five is the most severe, as patients cannot stand or walk. Hallucinations and delusions are common symptoms of this stage.
Parkinson’s disease occurs due to the death of motor neurons, some of which produce dopamine. Dopamine is important in the transmittance of messages to the muscles from the brain, so the loss of dopamine results in the loss of motor functions. Abnormal brain activity occurs when these neurons are lost. Doctors do not know why these motor neurons die, but they do suspect a few factors that play a role, such as genetics, environmental factors like toxins, and Lewy bodies.
DNL151 for Parkinson’s
Two late-stage clinical trials of DNL151 are planned to begin next year. Biogen and Denali will work together to develop and market the medication if the trials go well and the drug earns approval.
This treatment inhibits the function of the LRRK2 protein created by the mutated LRRK2 gene, as the mutations impair lysosomal function. By doing so, DNL151 is should slow disease progression. The current trials involving this medication are evaluating the safety, tolerability, pharmacodynamics, and pharmacokinetics. Researchers are also working towards finding the best dosage of DNL151.
As of now, the results of the ongoing trials show that this treatment can be developed further. It has shown up to a 50% reduction in lysosomal markers as well. The upcoming trials will focus on both sporadic and familial cases and are on schedule to begin in 2021.
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