Under My Skin

Many PD patients who take multiple carbidopa-levodopa pills orally every day experience sharp fluctuations in levodopa levels and suffer associated motor complications (e.g. intermittent "off" and "on" periods). Israeli-based NeuroDerm Ltd. has just reported encouraging news about its novel platform that seeks to minimize this problem by delivering liquid carbidopa-levodopa continuously over 24 hours. Using a belt-pump, similar to those used by Type-I diabetes patients, NeuroDerm’s product injects the liquid medicine into the tissue layer between the skin and the muscle — so-called subcutaneous delivery. In a test of the safety, tolerability and pharmacokinetics of a variety of liquid formulations, NeuroDerm’s products performed comparably to currently available invasive treatments requiring surgery, such as Duodopa. Said Oded S. Lieberman, PhD, CEO of NeuroDerm, "Based on these positive PK results, we will proceed with the clinical development of [our high dose and low dose products] ND0612H and ND0612L in the United States and the European Union in 2015."

Alpha-Synuclein Busting Vaccine
The Holy Grail of biomedical research is an intervention that slows, stops, or reverses a disease — a so-called disease-modifying procedure. An EU-funded consortium is recruiting for a Phase I trial of a new vaccine that aims to do just that by targeting alpha-synuclein, a protein thought to play a critical role in PD. The vaccine, AFFITOPE® PD03A, was developed by the Austrian biotech company AFFiRiS AG. As Dr. Dieter Volc of PROSENEX Ambulatorium BetriebsgmbH — who is leading the trial in Vienna — puts it, "PD03A … has the potential to treat the cause of Parkinson's - not just the symptoms". The good news is that PD03A is just one of several exciting alpha-synuclein immunotherapies entering clinical trials.