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Michael J. Fox Foundation gives $2.5 million to Ceregene project

The Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Research announced Tuesday it will provide $2.5 million to support Ceregene Inc.'s new Phase 2 study of CERE-120.

This novel gene therapy product delivers the gene for neurturin, a neurotrophic (growth) factor that has shown potential to improve the status of degenerating neurons in both preclinical and clinical studies. The University Towne Center area company said CERE-120 has the potential to improve motor function as well as slow Parkinson’s disease (PD) progression.

“Ceregene is enthusiastic about the continued support from The Michael J. Fox Foundation and this award will allow us to enroll the appropriate number of Parkinson’s patients to statistically power our upcoming controlled Phase 2 clinical study,” stated Jeffrey M. Ostrove, Ph.D., president and chief executive officer of Ceregene, Inc. “This funding marks the fourth award from The Michael J. Fox Foundation for Ceregene and we are truly grateful for their support.”

The principal investigators of this award are Ceregene’s executive vice president and chief scientific officer Raymond T. Bartus, Ph.D., and Joao Siffert, M.D., Ceregene’s chief medical officer.

MJFF funding complements Ceregene’s own multi-million dollar investment in the study. Patient enrollment for the new Phase 2 study is expected to begin later this summer at 10 major medical centers throughout the U.S.