Over the last three years, the Cure Parkinson’s research team and a group of Parkinson’s advocates have produced an annual report outlining the current development pipeline of new drug-based treatments for Parkinson’s. The 2022 version of this report has been published in the Journal of Parkinson’s Disease.

Despite the difficulties imposed by the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, clinical trials focused on developing potential new treatments for Parkinson’s are proceeding. This is largely thanks to the committed efforts of both the researchers and the trial participants. Our recent report of the development of new drugs for Parkinson’s found that in 2021, there were 147 active clinical trials. 91 of these, or 62%, were evaluating symptom treatments, while 56, or 38%, of these trials were testing potentially disease-modifying treatments for Parkinson’s.

Of the 147 active clinical trials, 51, or 35%, of these trials were in the early phase 1 stage, being tested in people for the first time – usually testing the drug’s safety and tolerability. 74 of the clinical trials, roughly half, were in phase 2 testing, usually to test evidence of the efficacy of the drug. The final phase 3 stage accounted for 22 of these clinical trials, or 15%, testing both the safety and the efficacy of these treatments in a very large group of people.

Nearly 40% of all disease-modifying clinical trials currently happening have been previously assessed by our International Linked Clinical Trials initiative (iLCT).

Out of 56 potentially disease-modifying treatments, only three were in the final phase 3 stage – one being the ‘Exenatide PD3 study’ supported by Cure Parkinson’s. Importantly, Cure Parkinson’s is endeavouring to increase the number of clinical trials of disease-modifying treatments in phase 3 in the very near future.

The Clinical Trial Highlights section of the Journal of Parkinson’s Disease was launched at the start of 2019 and is devoted to raising awareness of the clinical trial landscape in Parkinson’s, promoting discussion and progress in the conduct and outcome of studies. All content in this section is freely available to read, download and share.

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