The Michael J. Fox Foundation has awarded $4.6 million to support research into neurotrophic factor therapies for neurodegenerative disease. One awardee is San Diego-based Ceregene, a company developing gene therapy treatments for Parkinson’s and ALS. The company says it is conducting a Phase II study that aims to deliver the neurotrophic factor neurturin to improve the status of degenerating neurons in the brain. The second award supports a collaborative effort between Biovail Laboratories International SRL and MedGenesis Therapeutix, Inc. to develop a different neurotrophic factor GDNF (glial cell line-derived neurotrophic factor) for therapeutic purposes. GDNF is neurotrophic factor that acts on spinal motor neurons (the major type of neuron affected in ALS patients).
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