Tuesday, July 7, 2020
banner
Home /  Nation  /  QBRI plays key role in the treatment of Parkinson’s disease

QBRI plays key role in the treatment of Parkinson’s disease

QBRI plays key role in the treatment of Parkinson’s disease

Tribune News Network
Doha
The long and painstaking fight to develop Parkinson’s disease immunotherapy has received a positive boost from the Qatar Biomedical Research Institute (QBRI) team, part of Hamad Bin Khalifa University (HBKU), providing a novel diagnostic technology used in a number of promising clinical trials in Europe.
A trio of QBRI experts – Executive Director Dr. Omar El-Agnaf alongside Research Associates Dr. Nour Majbour and Dr. Nishant Narayanan Vaikath – contributed their extensive knowledge in the field of neurodegenerative disease to assist in the assessment of Parkinson’s disease biomarkers.
Austrian clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company, AFFiRiS AG, based in Vienna, Austria, subsequently utilized QBRI’s technology in their phase 1 clinical trials assessing the impact of Affitope (PD01A), immunotherapy against the debilitating condition. The findings support the further development of this therapy through phase 2 clinical trials.
Dr. El Agnaf, said: “We are honoured to be playing our part in the search to find immunotherapy to treat and eventually end the debilitating problems of Parkinson’s disease. Millions of people around the world have to deal with this condition every day of their lives and finding immunotherapy is so important.
“These results are very encouraging indeed, and we look forward to continuing our work with AFFiRiS in this crusade. Our dedicated researchers are once again demonstrating how QBRI is committed to paving the way for new breakthroughs in medicine, addressing the key healthcare challenges facing Qatar and the world.”
The data highlighting the tremendous potential of QBRI technology has since been published in the July issue of The Lancet Neurology.
Dr. Lawrence W. Stanton, acting director of QBRI’s Neurological Disorders Research Center, said: “QBRI is committed to the discovery of novel biomarkers that can be used to develop a specific and sensitive diagnosis that can play a critical role in the development of therapy for the treatment of neurological disorders such as Parkinson’s disease. We are very grateful for the opportunity to use our technology in this promising clinical trial conducted by Affiris.”
Parkinson’s disease is a progressive disorder of the nervous system that mainly affects movement. The main symptoms are tremors, slow movements and stiffness. Treatments include therapy to help with movement problems, medicines, and sometimes brain surgery. It is estimated that 1% of the world’s population over the age of 60 – some 7-10 million people – is affected by the disease.
Günther Staffler, Chief Technology Officer, AFFiRiS AG, said: “Through this long-term collaboration, QBRI has been hugely supportive of our development of a disease-modifying immunotherapeutic for Parkinson’s disease. This is particularly important with respect to the development of biomarkers of a disease, which may substantially shorten the time-lines for development and licensure of these much-needed therapies for Parkinson’s disease”.
Efforts to find an immunotherapy solution have been underway for many years, but the positive results of the study in the Austrian capital suggest that researchers are a step closer to that goal. Phase 1 of the trial was supported by the Parkinson Research Foundation of Michael J. Fox. The Hollywood film star established its foundation in 2000, two years after it had revealed that it had been living with this condition since 1991. It has become the world’s largest non-profit research funder for Parkinson’s disease, investing more than $650 million in investigative work.
QBRI’s dedicated Neurological Disorders Research Center focuses on the investigation of increased prevalence neurological disorders in Qatar and the region. These disorders range from neurodevelopmental diseases such as autism spectrum disorder ( ASD), intellectual disability (ID) and epilepsy to neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s disease ( AD) and Parkinson’s disease ( PD).

Pages