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Update on Tozadenant Trial for Parkinson’s

On 11/20/17, Acorda Therapeutics, Inc. announced that it is discontinuing the tozadenant clinical trial A research study in humans that aims to test a new intervention – this could be a drug, surgery or therapy like exercise or diet guidelines – to make sure it is effective and safe..  They concluded that they could not be confident that weekly white blood cell count screening would sufficiently ensure patient safety.


On 11/15/17, Acorda Therapeutics, Inc. announced that several people living with Parkinson's who participated in the Phase III trial for tozadenant experienced agranulocytosis — a severe drop in the number of white blood cells which fight infection — leading to cases of sepsis and five fatalities. Participants in the trial will now have blood cell count monitoring increased from monthly to weekly.  The study has paused new enrollment in the long-term safety studies, pending further discussion with the independent Data Safety Monitoring Board (DSMB) and the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

Tozadenant is an oral adenosine A2a receptor antagonist currently in Phase III development as an adjunctive Supplemental or secondary. In the context of Parkinson's, adjunctive medications are used to enhance the effects of levodopa. treatment to levodopaThe medication most commonly given to control the movement symptoms of Parkinson’s, usually with carbidopa. It is converted in the brain into dopamine. in Parkinson’s disease patients to reduce OFF time When medication is not working well. Symptoms become more noticeable and movement becomes more difficult..

Statement from the Parkinson’s Foundation

Our thoughts are with the family members who lost a loved one enrolled in this trial. Their participation in clinical research will ultimately help make life better for the people diagnosed with Parkinson's in the future. 

The Parkinson’s Foundation remains confident that Acorda and the FDA will investigate this rare event. Clinical trials in Parkinson’s disease — from oral therapies to surgical treatments — have had a strong safety record and they are critical in testing the safety and efficacy of investigational therapies.

In order to discover new PD therapies, we rely on brave and altruistic people, like the ones in this trial, to participate in clinical research. The Parkinson’s Foundation remains committed to supporting clinical research through our global network of Centers of Excellence and Parkinson’s Advocates in Research.

If you would like more information about the benefits and risks of clinical trial participation, learn more here.  If you have questions or concerns, please call our toll-free Helpline at 1-800-4PD-INFO (473-4636).

Thursday, November 16, 2017
Parkinson’s Disease Foundation Marks Tenth Year of People with Parkinson’s Advisory Council
Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Patient Advisors Drive PDF Mission to Solve, Treat and End Parkinson’s

The Parkinson’s Disease Foundation® (PDF®) is pleased to mark the tenth year of its People with Parkinson’s Advisory Council and welcome five new members. Created in 2006, the council is made up of people living with Parkinson’s and care partners who drive PDF’s goals of ending the disease and improving the lives of those affected by it.

Fourth Annual Celebrate Spring Boston Raises $50,000 for Parkinson’s Disease Foundation
Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Boston Area Women Inspire Fellow Young Professionals to End Parkinson’s

FDA Approves Drug to Treat Parkinson’s Disease Psychosis
Friday, April 29, 2016

Today, the FDA approved Nuplazid (pimavanserin) as the first drug to treat hallucinations and delusions associated with Parkinson’s disease psychosis, which affects up to 40% of people with Parkinson’s.

FDA Panel Backs Approval of Pimavanserin
Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Big News for Advanced Parkinson’s

Lea Dempsey, Seventh Grader from NJ, Designs Winning Parkinson’s Awareness T-Shirt
Thursday, March 24, 2016

A digital drawing by 13-year-old Lea Dempsey of Princeton, NJ, came out on top in the Parkinson’s Disease Foundation’s (PDF) Seventh Annual Parkinson’s Awareness T-Shirt Design Contest. In PDF’s “kids only” contest, Ms. Dempsey’s design was a contender along with 20 other submissions from children ages five to 15-years-old. Her design was chosen as the winner by the general public in an online vote.

National Parkinson Foundation Campaign Promotes the Power of Exercise During Parkinson’s Disease Awareness Month
Monday, March 21, 2016

The National Parkinson Foundation (NPF) launched the #Move4PD campaign in recognition of National Parkinson’s Disease Awareness Month today. The campaign’s goal is to highlight the importance of exercise for those with Parkinson’s disease (PD) and its positive effects on the brain.

Parkinson's Disease Foundation to Host Celebrate Spring New York on Thursday, April 7
Friday, March 18, 2016

The Young New Yorkers for the Fight Against Parkinson’s and the Parkinson’s Disease Foundation® (PDF®) will hold its ninth annual Celebrate Spring New York at Marquee located at 289 10th Avenue between 26th and 27th Streets in New York City on Thursday, April 7, 2016.   Proceeds from the evening will support PDF’s research programs.

PDF Champions Raise More Than $35,000 for Parkinson’s Research at Martinis & Bellinis Event
Monday, March 7, 2016

Norwood, NJ, resident Stephanie Goldman-Pittel and her fellow co-chairs from nearby communities raised more than $35,000 to benefit the Parkinson’s Disease Foundation (PDF) at Martinis & Bellinis, their third annual PDF Helping Hours event on March 3. More than 100 guests attended the event held at Harvest Bistro & Bar in Closter, NJ, to support Parkinson’s research.

Parkinson's Disease Foundation Launches Online Course for Occupational Therapy Practitioners
Tuesday, March 1, 2016

The Parkinson's Disease Foundation® (PDF®) is pleased to launch a new online course, Occupational Therapy: Across the Parkinson's Disease Continuum, to prepare occupational therapy practitioners who are caring for the growing population of people living with Parkinson's disease.

Parkinson's Disease Foundation Invests in Next Generation of Nursing Leaders
Wednesday, February 24, 2016

The Parkinson's Disease Foundation® (PDF®) is pleased to announce eight new training opportunities for nursing faculty as part of The Edmond J. Safra Visiting Nurse Faculty Program at PDF. The program improves nursing care in Parkinson's disease (PD) by training nurse faculty leaders who in turn, prepare their students to fight the disease on the front lines.

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