Under the visionary leadership of Dr Camille Carroll at the University of Plymouth, Cure Parkinson’s has been supporting an exploratory study at the University of Plymouth to understand the best way of improving clinical trials in order to speed up the development of new treatments that might slow or stop the progression of Parkinson’s.

Current clinical trials typically involve evaluating new potential treatments one at a time, in comparison to a placebo or dummy treatment. In addition, the analysis of the results is traditionally left until the end of the study when all of the data from the trial has been collected. This process results in a slow path of clinical development of treatments and it is a well acknowledged fact that it could be much faster and more efficient.

Dr Carroll’s study has brought together people with Parkinson’s and their care partners, clinical scientists and representatives from industry, funders and regulators. The aim being to collect many opinions on all aspects of clinical trial design in order to reach agreement on how a clinical trial could be better designed in order to speed up development of new treatments.  To achieve these aims, Dr Carroll’s team carried out a survey-based ‘Delphi study’ – which allows participants to give their opinions as well as gain insights into the choices of other participants about topics covered in the survey.  As a result of this important ground work, funded by Cure Parkinson’s, a significant grant was awarded by the Edmund J. Safra Foundation for a project called: Accelerating Clinical Treatments for Parkinson’s Disease (EJS-ACT-PD). This is a collaboration between Dr Camille Carroll, Professors Tom Foltynie and Soania Gandhi at the UCL Movement Disorders Centre and the Medical Research Clinical Trials Unit at UCL, and the broader Parkinson’s community in the UK.

There is an incredible amount of preclinical research being produced at the moment, but the bottle neck is translating it into clinical testing. Our delphi study and the new EJS- ACT-PD study could be the first steps in speeding up that process.

Dr Simon Stott, Cure Parkinson’s

The Edmond J. Safra ACT-PD initiative will enable us to evaluate potential cures for Parkinson’s much more rapidly and efficiently.  Innovation of this kind is urgently needed in Parkinson’s research and it is wonderful to see the Parkinson’s community come together behind this initiative.

Dr Richard Wyse, Cure Parkinson’s

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