Seven of the world’s largest pharmaceutical companies have signed up to a groundbreaking consortium aimed at accelerating the development of safe and effective therapies for Parkinson’s.
The Critical Path for Parkinson’s consortium will bring together leading academics; industry members AbbVie, AstraZeneca, Biogen, Eli Lilly, Merck & Co., Pfizer and UCB; and founders the Critical Path Institute (C-Path) and Parkinson’s U.K., to share data, expertise and resources to promote and develop new treatments for Parkinson’s.
The consortium, which was launched in October 2015, was formed by Parkinson’s U.K. and C-Path to increase investment into research and development of new Parkinson’s treatments.
Dr. Arthur Roach, director of Research at Parkinson’s U.K., the principal funder of the consortium, said, “Despite significant advances in our understanding of the genetics, biochemistry and pathology of Parkinson’s, the development of new treatments has not kept pace. New treatments are desperately needed to deal with the devastating effects of this progressive condition.
“Investing in clinical trials for brain disorders currently carries a high cost and high risk of failure. As the world’s largest patient-led Parkinson’s charity, we know that people living with conditions such as Parkinson’s have often been disappointed when drugs that showed significant promise early on failed in late stage testing.
Parkinson’s affects 127,000 people in the U.K., and approximately 7 million people worldwide. In 2012/13, the National Health Service (NHS) spent more than £212 million on caring for people with Parkinson’s in England, with the cost of the condition in the U.S. approximately $25 billion per year. With the baby boomer generation becoming older, the number of people with neurodegenerative conditions, including Parkinson’s, is likely to increase and will become one of the biggest issues faced by healthcare.
The International Federation of Pharmaceutical Manufacturers & Associations (IFPMA) estimated that the cost of developing a single drug was $1.3 billion, rising from $138 million in 1978, a tenfold increase attributed to a multiplicity of factors faced by drug research.
Parkinson’s U.K. has committed over £1million to the Critical Path for Parkinson’s consortium.