• Open Access

Rotigotine polyoxazoline conjugate SER-214 provides robust and sustained antiparkinsonian benefit


  • Relevant Financial disclosures: Serina Therapeutics, Inc. is a privately held pharmaceutical development company located in the Hudson Alpha Institute for Biotechnology in Huntsville, Alabama, USA. The employees of Serina Therapeutics (T.X.V., M.D.B., Z.F., B.D., K.Y., and R.W.M.) have ownership interest in the company. D.G.S. is a consultant for Serina Therapeutics, Inc. and has no stock ownership in the company. P.R., T.H.J., M.J.H., and J.M.B. received payments from and hold equity stakes in Atuka, Inc.

  • Full financial disclosures and author roles may be found in the online version of this article.

  • All financial disclosures are correct.


Currently available dopaminergic drugs such as levodopa and dopamine (DA) receptor agonists impart considerable improvement in Parkinson's disease (PD) motor symptoms but often lead to significant motor complications including “wearing-off” and dyskinesia. Such complications are believed to stem from the pulsatile nature of dopaminergic stimulation with these agents. Continuous dopaminergic drug delivery using polyoxazoline (POZ) polymer conjugation may improve motor symptoms, while avoiding development of side effects. The purposes of the current study are to characterize the in vitro and in vivo pharmacokinetics of POZ conjugation of a U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA)-approved DA agonist, rotigotine, and to evaluate their effects in an established rat model of PD. After determination of release profiles of several POZ-conjugated constructs (“fast”: SER-212; “moderate”: SER-213; and “slow”: SER-214) using in vitro hydrolysis, normal male Sprague-Dawley rats were used for determination of the pharmacokinetic profile of both acute and chronic exposure. Finally, a separate group of rats was rendered hemiparkinsonian using intracranial 6-hydroxydopamine (6-OHDA) infusions, treated acutely with POZ-rotigotine, and assessed for rotational behavior and antiparkinsonian benefit using the cylinder test. POZ-rotigotine formulations SER-213 and SER-214 led to substantial pharmacokinetic improvement compared to unconjugated rotigotine. In addition, SER-214 led to antiparkinsonian effects in DA-lesioned rats that persisted up to 5 days posttreatment. Repeated weekly dose administration of SER-214 to normal rats for up to 12 weeks demonstrated highly reproducible pharmacokinetic profiles. The continuous dopaminergic stimulation profile afforded by SER-214 could represent a significant advance in the treatment of PD, with potential to be a viable, once-per-week therapy for PD patients.