Results out of a study funded by The Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Research (MJFF) have enabled researchers to secure a $23 million grant from the National Institutes of Health (NIH), USA, continuing a repurposed drug approved for hypertension to Phase III testing for slowing Parkinson’s progression.

The trial investigating the compound isradipine will be the most advanced, current study into a disease-modifying therapy for Parkinson’s, an unmet need.

Isradipine is a calcium channel blocker prescribed to treat high blood pressure. Epidemiological data from population-scale studies note a lower incidence of Parkinson’s disease (PD) among people who take this drug.

Furthering PD researchers’ interest, laboratory tests have shown that blocking calcium channels protects dopamine neurons, degeneration of which is one of the hallmarks of Parkinson’s disease.

Source: The Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Research