A team from Georgetown University has been trying to retest Novartis’ cancer drug Tasigna that was developed to treat Parkinson’s disease in 2013. However, the toxic alpha-synuclein protein clump formation in the brains of mice proved the drug ineffective. In 2017, the drug was moved into a small phase 2 trial to basically understand Tasigna’s function in the brain in terms of relieving from Parkinson’s symptoms. The tyrosine kinase inhibitor will have new insights being added to the drug to help understand its actions in the brain. The drug is found to increase the level of dopamine in the brain. The increase in the brain chemical and decrease in neurotoxic proteins is found to very well explain the motor and non-motor functioning taking place in the brain.
The researchers basically focused on the safety of Tasigna and found the drug to lower 20% of alpha-synuclein and 30% of tau in the Parkinson’s patients. The dopamine metabolites were also found to be 50% more which means that the neurotoxic proteins are cleared and the brain is ready to use dopamine. The drug was found to stabilize the disease and improve the quality of life. The FDA had approved the drug to treat chronic myeloid leukemia with a specification of 400 mg per day. The lower doses of the drug were found to be effective when administered to Parkinson’s patients.
Likewise, Aspen Neuroscience has recently got a $6.5 Million seed round to modernize its technology to help substitute destroyed brain cells in Parkinson’s subjects. The San Diego biotech usually transplants pluripotent stem cells in Parkinson’s patients to help repair their bodies. The trials for sporadic Parkinson’s are going on whereas a gene-edited therapy for familial Parkinson’s is also being developed. The funding was provided by Axon Ventures and Domain Associates with the help of Arch Venture Partners, Alexandria Venture Investments, OrbiMed, and Section 32.