Contera Pharma, in collaboration with Solural Pharma Ernst Moritz Arndt University Greifswald, Germany and Erweka GmbH, Germany, has been awarded a Eurostar grant to support a project to develop new treatments of morning akinesia associated with Parkinson’s disease (PD).
Parkinson’s disease, which affects 1 in 100 people over the age of 60, is primarily characterized by a degeneration of dopaminergic motor neurons in the substantia nigra leading to a lack of dopamine on post-synaptic receptors. In order to replace the lost dopamine, PD is currently treated with levodopa. Levodopa very efficacious reduces motor symptoms of Parkinson’s disease but unfortunately will lose its effect after prolonged use.
Morning akinesia due to delayed onset of the first daily levodopa dose may occur in up to 50 % of patients receiving levodopa after several years. Morning akinesia can significantly affect quality of life in PD patients, consequently impairing the ability to perform daily activities, such as arising from bed, dressing, bathing, toileting, and preparing breakfast and getting on with the day’s work.
John Bondo Hansen, CEO of Contera Pharma stated that “it is a great pleasure that we in collaboration with our partners in Denmark and Germany will be able to pursue this project. This will add to our portfolio of projects focusing on new treatments of severe debilitating movement disorders. Helping patients and their families to better daily lives with their diseases is our focus.”
Peter G. Nielsen, CEO of Solural Pharma added that “the Eurostar project creates a unique opportunity for us to work together with a leading expert in the field, professor Dr. Sandra Klein from the University of Greifswald, and by using new advanced technology from Erweka GmbH, to develop new innovative medication for patients in need.”