The University of Sheffield has been awarded £1.2 million to develop a treatment to help slow down the progression of Parkinson’s disease.
Scientists from the University of Sheffield’s Institute of Translational Neuroscience, led by Dr Heather Mortiboys, have been working with experts from Parkinson’s UK to develop a molecule that can boost the function of the brain’s mitochondria to halt the degenerative disease, something that no treatment can currently do.
Earlier work from Dr Mortiboys, funded by a Parkinson’s UK Senior Fellowship Grant, identified two molecules with amazing mitochondrial restoration properties.
The new project will bring together biology and chemistry experts from the University of Sheffield, Parkinson’s UK and world-leading contract research organisations to further develop the modified molecules.
Dr Mortiboys, Senior Lecturer at the University of Sheffield’s Institute of Translational Neuroscience, said: “We are delighted to continue our work with Parkinson’s UK to refine these promising molecules to develop a treatment that could stop Parkinson’s in its tracks.”
There is a desperate need for new and better treatments for Parkinson’s sufferers. The degenerative disease causes a loss of physical movement and uncontrollable tremors.
145,000 people are living with Parkinson’s in the UK and on average. Two people are diagnosed with the disease every hour.
The project is funded by Parkinson’s UK Virtual Biotech initiative, which is plugging the funding gap in drug development as well as fast-tracking the development of new treatments for Parkinson’s disease sufferers.
Dr Arthur Roach, Director of Research at Parkinson’s UK said: “This new funding will greatly accelerate the project and shows our commitment to working with ground-breaking academic researchers in the UK and taking their discoveries from the lab towards clinical trials.
“There is a desperate need for new and better treatments, and we hope this project will one day deliver a life-changing drug for people living with the condition.”