AstraZeneca Awarded Grant by The Michael J. Fox Foundation to Investigate a Nicotine Receptor Agonist as Treatment of Dyskinesia in Parkinson's Disease

AstraZeneca Awarded Grant by The Michael J. Fox Foundation to Investigate a Nicotine Receptor Agonist as Treatment of Dyskinesia in Parkinson's Disease

AstraZeneca today announced that The Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson's Research (MJFF) awarded AstraZeneca a grant to support research on levodopa-induced dyskinesias (LID), a complication of therapies commonly used to reduce Parkinson's disease symptoms.

AstraZeneca will apply the $465,000 grant toward preclinical study of a novel nicotinic receptor agonist. If this research and subsequent clinical trials prove successful, AstraZeneca hopes to deliver a medicine that will reduce LID, enabling Parkinson's disease patients to optimize their treatment with levodopa. If AstraZeneca successfully brings the new medicine to market, they will refund the MJFF for the full grant amount within the first two years of commercial sales. 

"Levodopa-induced dyskinesia is a debilitating side effect of current Parkinson's treatments," said Todd Sherer, Ph.D., Chief Executive Officer of The Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson's Research. "We hope this research will lead to therapies that can work together to maximize benefit and minimize side effects for Parkinson's patients."

"We believe that our model for furthering neuroscience drug discovery and early development via creative collaborations fits well with the vital mission of MJFF," said Mike Poole, M.D., Vice President of the AstraZeneca Neuroscience Innovative Medicines Unit.  "Our work with MJFF is just one example of our commitment to delivering new medicines for neurological disorders, particularly Parkinson's and Alzheimer's disease."

The AstraZeneca Neuroscience Innovative Medicines Unit conducts neuroscience discovery research and early development for small and large molecules by tapping into the best available external science and sharing cost, risk and reward with other research partners active in psychiatry, neurology and pain research.

Notes to editors

About AstraZeneca

AstraZeneca is a global, innovation-driven biopharmaceutical business that focuses on the discovery, development and commercialization of prescription medicines, primarily for the treatment of cardiovascular, metabolic, respiratory, inflammation, autoimmune, oncology, infection and neuroscience diseases. AstraZeneca operates in over 100 countries and its innovative medicines are used by millions of patients worldwide. For more information please visit:

About The Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson's Research

As the world's largest private funder of Parkinson's research, The Michael J. Fox Foundation is dedicated to accelerating a cure for Parkinson's disease and improved therapies for those living with the condition today. The Foundation pursues its goals through an aggressively funded, highly targeted research program coupled with active global engagement of scientists, Parkinson's patients, business leaders, clinical trial participants, donors and volunteers.  In addition to funding more than $325 million in research to date, the Foundation has fundamentally altered the trajectory of progress toward a cure. Operating at the hub of worldwide Parkinson's research, the Foundation forges groundbreaking collaborations with industry leaders, academic scientists and government research funders; increases the flow of participants into Parkinson's disease clinical trials with its online tool, Fox Trial Finder; promotes Parkinson's awareness through high-profile advocacy, events and outreach; and coordinates the grassroots involvement of thousands of Team Fox members around the world.


Laura Woodin

[email protected]