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Keywords:

  • alpha-synuclein;
  • biomarkers;
  • disease modification;
  • clinical trial recruitment

Abstract

Improved symptomatic and disease-modifying treatments are needed for Parkinson's disease (PD). Although significant advances have been made in the understanding of PD etiology, the translation of these discoveries into novel transformative therapies has been limited as a result of systemic challenges in PD drug development. Preclinical testing lacks clear standards and prioritization criteria for advancing therapies to the clinic. Clinical testing is marked by expensive, long, and uninformative studies. In parallel to these scientific challenges, funding of late-stage drug development has become increasingly scarce and risk averse. In this context, novel models of collaboration and funding are opening up new avenues for pursuing treatments. This review will discuss the most critical challenges in PD drug development and the innovative approaches being developed to overcome these hurdles. © 2012 Movement Disorder Society