Sector News

Sanofi sponsors Parkinson’s Foundation’s genetic study with $1M for free testing

November 22, 2020
Life sciences

It’s estimated that 10% to 15% of people with Parkinson’s have a genetic form of the disease and Sanofi Genzyme is backing a new study to help find those people.

Working with the Parkinson’s Foundation, the effort, called PD GENEration, will provide free genetic testing, either by in-person blood testing at selected sites or by a telemedicine appointment combined with at-home cheek swabs. Follow-up counseling will also be provided to discuss the results. Sanofi will contribute $1 million to the study over the next two years.

The goal of the testing is to identify the specific genetic status of people with Parkinson’s, which can lead to better identification for clinical trials and more personalized therapies.

The Sanofi-backed study will inform participants when “trials become available that are relevant to their genetic status,” James Beck, senior VP and chief scientific officer at the Parkinson’s Foundation, said in an email.

“Because we are banking the DNA to share in a de-identified fashion, we are hopeful that the results obtained through this study will also impact future research to develop improved treatments and personalized medicine for Parkinson’s,” he said.

Today, there are limited genetic testing options for people with Parkinson’s. The tests are often expensive and not covered by insurance, and they use a chip technology that may only identify a few point mutations on the genes linked to Parkinson’s. The main issue, however, is that there is no genetic counseling, Beck said.

The response so far has been positive, with more than 500 people taking part and waiting lists already forming at the foundation’s existing sites, Beck said. The partners plan to add more testing sites at Parkinson’s Foundation Centers of Excellence across the country.

Beck sees the collaboration between Sanofi and the Parkinson’s Foundation as a natural fit.

“Sanofi is a leading pharma company that shares our vision of improving the lives of those affected by PD,” he said, adding that “it made perfect sense to join forces in this project.”

by Sharon Klahr Coey

Source: fiercepharma.com

comments closed

Related News

February 17, 2024

GSK concludes Aiolos Bio acquisition for $1.4bn

Life sciences

The agreement, signed last month, includes an upfront payment of $1bn and $400m in regulatory milestone payments. The acquisition introduces AIO-001, a long-acting anti-thymic stromal lymphopoietin (TSLP) monoclonal antibody, into GSK’s pipeline.

February 17, 2024

CRISPR gene therapy Casgevy secures approval in Europe

Life sciences

Vertex Pharmaceuticals and CRISPR Therapeutics have scored another regulatory approval for Casgevy (exagamglogene autotemcel) after the European Commission granted conditional marketing authorisation to the gene therapy.

February 17, 2024

Gilead to buy liver drugmaker CymaBay for $4.3 Billion

Life sciences

US biopharmaceutical company Gilead Sciences is to acquire CymaBay Therapeutics for $4.3 billion. Gilead offered to purchase all outstanding shares of CymaBay for $32.50 per share in cash. CymaBay, based in the US near San Francisco, California, has developed the investigational drug seladelpar, which is currently in clinical Phase 3.

How can we help you?

We're easy to reach