IBJNews

Lilly teams with Medtronic on Parkinson's treatment

Back to TopCommentsE-mailPrintBookmark and Share

Eli Lilly and Co. plans to use an implantable drug-delivery system made by Medtronic Inc. to precisely target patients' brains with an experimental drug for Parkinson’s disease. The two companies announced their partnership on the Parkinson’s medication Tuesday morning.

Indianapolis-based Lilly has not yet begun human trials of its drug, known as a glial cell derived neurotrophic factor, or GDNF. Lilly said in a press release that it has engineered the biotech drug to distribute more broadly than other neurotrophic agents have in previous tests. Minneapolis-based Medtronic’s system, which uses a pump and catheter, supplies a steady amount of the drug to a specific brain region over time.

Financial terms of the partnership were not disclosed.

“By collaborating with Medtronic from the earliest phase of research, we are maximizing the potential for this therapy's efficient and effective development,” said Michael L. Hutton, chief scientific officer of Lilly’s neurodegeneration team, in a prepared statement.

There is no known cure for Parkinson’s, a condition caused by the loss of brain neurons that produce dopamine, a chemical messenger key to the brain’s coordination of movement. Parkinson’s patients suffer from imbalance, tremors and muscle stiffness.

Some of the most famous victims of Parkinson’s are the former boxer Muhammad Ali and actor Michael J. Fox. They are among more than 7 million estimated Parkinson’s patients worldwide.

By injecting neurotrophic factors into the brain, scientists expect that they would strengthen existing neurons, helping them produce more dopamine, said Ros Smith, senior director of regenerative biology at Lilly. Keeping neurons functioning longer could slow progression of Parkinson’s rather than treating its symptoms, as existing therapies do.

However, because neurotrophic factors are large proteins, they don’t easily cross from the bloodstream into the brain, Smith said. But Lilly scientists hope that Medtronic’s delivery system can overcome that obstacle.

"One of the most significant challenges in delivering a biologic treatment for neurodegenerative diseases is crossing the blood brain barrier. We have extensive experience in targeted drug delivery and technology that allow delivery of therapeutic agents directly to the brain,” said Dr. Steve Oesterle, senior vice president of medicine and technology at Medtronic.
 

ADVERTISEMENT

Post a comment to this story

COMMENTS POLICY
We reserve the right to remove any post that we feel is obscene, profane, vulgar, racist, sexually explicit, abusive, or hateful.
 
You are legally responsible for what you post and your anonymity is not guaranteed.
 
Posts that insult, defame, threaten, harass or abuse other readers or people mentioned in IBJ editorial content are also subject to removal. Please respect the privacy of individuals and refrain from posting personal information.
 
No solicitations, spamming or advertisements are allowed. Readers may post links to other informational websites that are relevant to the topic at hand, but please do not link to objectionable material.
 
We may remove messages that are unrelated to the topic, encourage illegal activity, use all capital letters or are unreadable.
 

Messages that are flagged by readers as objectionable will be reviewed and may or may not be removed. Please do not flag a post simply because you disagree with it.

Sponsored by
ADVERTISEMENT

facebook - twitter on Facebook & Twitter

Follow on TwitterFollow IBJ on Facebook:
Follow on TwitterFollow IBJ's Tweets on these topics:
 
Subscribe to IBJ
  1. "This was a very localized, Indiana issue," he said. As in, Indiana failed to expand Medicaid to cover its poor citizens resulting in the loss of essential medical services, including this EMS company. Well done, Indiana GOP. Here are the real death panels: GOP state governments who refuse to expand Medicaid for political reasons.

  2. In the "one for all, all for none" socialist doctrine the sick die...this plus obama"care" equates to caucasian genocide plus pushed flight to cities thus further eroding the conservative base and the continualed spiral toward complete liberal/progressive/marxist America.

  3. There is a simple reason why WISH is not reporting on this story. LIN has others stations in different markets that are affiliated with CBS. Reporting about CBS blindsiding WISH/LIN due to CBS's greed and bullying tatics would risk any future negoations LIN will have with CBS in other markets.

  4. My best always! Dave Wilson

  5. How did Columbus, Ohio pull off a car share service without a single dollar of public subsidies? They must not have a mayor who is on the take like Indianapolis. Daimler Benz offers Columbus residents their Smart Cars on a market-driven basis: "This has some neat features. Cars don’t have to be picked up and dropped off at fixed points. You find one with your smart phone based on GPS, and drop it off anywhere in the service area you can find a spot – even at a meter. These cars aren’t required to feed the meter so you get free on street parking while using them. I was told this system was put in place on a market basis without subsidies – and that the vendor actually pays the city for the use of the meters." http://www.urbanophile.com/2014/05/26/checking-in-on-columbus/

ADVERTISEMENT