A Diagnostics & Imaging Week

The Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson's Research (New York) reported a commitment of $2 million for Biomarkers 2009.

This fourth round of biomarker funding by MJFF aims to continue stimulating discovery of new disease and drug biomarkers. At the same time, recognizing the critical need for an orchestrated, fieldwide strategy to drive tangible progress, MJFF said it is putting building blocks in place to launch a comprehensive biomarker discovery and verification effort in coming months.

The foundation has been a field leader in the development of PD biomarkers for several years. Nearly $9 million in MJFF investment to date has resulted in the emergence of several lead biomarker candidates. The additional $2 million, directed toward biomarker discovery, underscores that commitment.

Biomarkers 2009 will prioritize continued development of two separate types of biomarkers, both of major importance to PD therapeutics development: disease biomarkers and drug biomarkers.

Disease biomarkers are distinctive biological features or changes that are consistently different in people with PD than in people without PD. Identifying one or more disease biomarkers would allow researchers to diagnose earlier, track disease progression and identify appropriate subjects for clinical trials.