About Australian Parkinson's Mission

About Australian Parkinson's Mission

Transformative clinical trials and genomics to help treat and cure Parkinson’s.

Parkinson's disease: the facts

  • 100,000 Australians live with Parkinson’s.
  • 14,000 Australians will be diagnosed with the disease every year.
  • Parkinson’s costs the economy $3 billion/year and the healthcare system $600 million/year.
  • There is no known cause for this debilitating disease and treatments address only symptoms, not disease progression.
  • Without a medical breakthrough the number of Australians with Parkinson’s will double every ~15 years.

What the program will do

  • We will enrol patients at all stages of Parkinson’s in accordance with eligibility criteria.
  • Initially four repurposed drugs will be tested through clinical trials to assess the potential to change the way Parkinson's progresses.
  • People involved in the Australian Parkinson's Mission will undergo whole genome sequencing and analysis to identify the genomic variations contributing to their disease and inform clinicians which patients are most likely to respond to each of the treatments being trialled.
  • The findings from our clinical trials will be integrated with analyses of patients’ genomic information and biomarkers – naturally occurring measurable indicators of a disease.

The clinical trial will use potential repurposed drugs for Parkinson’s disease from drugs approved to treat other conditions. These treatments have demonstrated neuroprotective effects in preclinical experiments. By using drugs that have already passed rigorous safety and toxicology trials, the mission aims to cut the time for a potential treatment to move from the laboratory to clinical trials and to the patient.

The benefits have the potential to affect people with Parkinson's and clinicians:

  • Determine which drugs are effective to change the progression of the disease for which patients
  • Develop screening, prevention and early intervention protocols for individuals at high risk of Parkinson’s
  • Develop blood-based biomarkers to measure the existence and progression of the disease
  • Proof of principle for a genomics-based precision medicine framework
  • Better classification of Parkinson’s subtypes based on their DNA

There is also the potential for significant savings in the health industry.

Australian Parkinson's Mission partners

  • The Garvan Institute of Medical Research aims to harness all the information encoded in our genome to understand biology and predict, prevent and treat disease. This is the path to achieving our vision: a future where everyone lives longer, healthier lives.
  • Shake It Up Australia promotes and funds Parkinson’s disease research in Australia aimed at better treatments and ultimately a cure.
  • Parkinson’s Australia is the peak organisation for Parkinson’s in Australia and it comprises seven State and Territory organisational members.
  • The Cure Parkinson’s Trust is focused on finding treatments to slow, stop or even reverse Parkinson’s, and finding a cure. It identifies compounds and funds clinical trials of potentially disease modifying treatments through its global Linked Clinical Trials initiative.
  • Michael J Fox Foundation is dedicated to finding a cure for Parkinson's disease through an aggressively funded research agenda and to ensuring the development of improved therapies for those living with Parkinson's today.