University of Minnesota named one of five clinical sites for BioFIND study sponsored by The Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Research
The University of Minnesota has been named one of five clinical sites for BioFIND, a two-year, multi-site study exclusively focused on discovering new Parkinson’s disease (PD) biomarkers, which are critical to accelerating the development of disease-modifying therapies that can help transform patients’ lives.
(PressZoom) - The University of Minnesota has been named one of five clinical sites for BioFIND, a two-year, multi-site study exclusively focused on discovering new Parkinson’s disease (PD) biomarkers, which are critical to accelerating the development of disease-modifying therapies that can help transform patients’ lives.
Paul Tuite, M.D., associate professor in the Department of Neurology, is leading the BioFIND study efforts at the University of Minnesota Medical Center. The study looks to discover new PD biomarkers, tools that are crucial for researchers to develop disease-modifying therapies that can slow or stop disease progression.
“This research is critical to our efforts to help find a biomarker for Parkinson’s disease, a disease that affects the central nervous system in an estimated one million people,” said Tuite. “With the support of The Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Research (MJFF) in partnership with the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS), we hope to learn more about PD and ultimately put us on the right course for a cure.”
Tuite and the University of Minnesota have a long history of PD research and therapy development. The latest trial fits directly within areas of strength for the University.
“Since our Foundation’s inception, we have invested $65 million in the pursuit of Parkinson's biomarkers,” said Mark Frasier, Ph.D., vice president of research programs at MJFF. “Finding such biomarkers would allow scientists to predict, diagnose and monitor the disease, and determine which medications might work and which won't. Biomarkers would be invaluable tools to the development of new treatments for patients. We’re optimistic that BioFIND can play a critical role in this search, and he looks forward to working together with the University of Minnesota and NINDS.”
According to NINDS director Story Landis, Ph.D., the discovery of biomarkers is critical to pushing forward new discoveries in the fight against Parkinson’s disease.
“Through BioFIND, NINDS and the Fox Foundation are leveraging our resources to tackle a really important challenge in Parkinson’s disease research,” said Landis. “A set of reliable biomarkers for Parkinson’s disease would greatly enhance our ability to develop new therapies and evaluate them in clinical trials.”
Tuite and his team are actively recruiting volunteers to participate in the clinical research study. Ideal candidates are men and women over the age of 55 who have had PD for more than 5 years and control volunteers who do not have PD or a first-degree blood relative with PD.
The four other clinical sites involved with BioFIND include Columbia University (Columbia University Medical Center, New York, N.Y.), Rush University (Rush University Medical Center, Chicago, Ill.), Cornell University (Cornell University Medical Center, New York, N.Y.), and the University of Chicago (University of Chicago Medical Center, Chicago, Ill.).
BioFIND is sponsored by The Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Research and funded in part by The National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke.
About the Medical School The University of Minnesota Medical School, with its two campuses in the Twin Cities and Duluth, is a leading educator of the next generation of physicians. Our graduates and the school's 3,800 faculty physicians and scientists advance patient care, discover biomedical research breakthroughs with more than $180 million in sponsored research annually, and enhance health through world-class patient care for the state of Minnesota and beyond. Visit www.med.umn.edu to learn more.
About The Michael J. Fox Foundation As the world’s largest private funder of Parkinson’s research, The Michael J. Fox Foundation is dedicated to accelerating a cure for Parkinson’s disease and improved therapies for those living with the condition today. The Foundation pursues its goals through an aggressively funded, highly targeted research program coupled with active global engagement of scientists, Parkinson’s patients, business leaders, clinical trial participants, donors and volunteers. In addition to funding more than $300 million in research to date, the Foundation has fundamentally altered the trajectory of progress toward a cure. Operating at the hub of worldwide Parkinson’s research, the Foundation forges groundbreaking collaborations with industry leaders, academic scientists and government research funders; increases the flow of participants into Parkinson’s disease clinical trials with its online tool, Fox Trial Finder; promotes Parkinson’s awareness through high-profile advocacy, events and outreach; and coordinates the grassroots involvement of thousands of Team Fox members around the world.
About The National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke NINDS (www.ninds.nih.gov), a part of the National Institutes of Health, is the nation's leading funder of research on the brain and nervous system. The NINDS mission is to reduce the burden of neurological disease – a burden borne by every age group, by every segment of society, by people all over the world.
The National Institutes of Health (NIH is the nation's medical research agency, includes 27 Institutes and Centers and is a component of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. NIH is the primary federal agency conducting and supporting basic, clinical, and translational medical research, and is investigating the causes, treatments, and cures for both common and rare diseases. For more information about NIH and its programs, visit www.nih.gov.
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