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Michael J. Fox Foundation For Parkinson’s Research.

December 28, 2011 by staff 

Michael J. Fox Foundation For Parkinson’s Research., Trevena, Inc., a leader in the discovery of G-protein coupled receptor (GPCR) biased ligands, announced today that The Michael J. Fox Foundation (MJFF) has awarded the company a $205,000 research funding grant for Parkinson’s disease research. The one-year Target Validation Funding Award will support pathway validation experiments to demonstrate the potential of novel biased ligands to the delta-opioid receptor as potential treatments for Parkinson’s disease.

Dr. Michael Lark, principal investigator of the MJFF-funded research program and Chief Scientific Officer at Trevena, Inc. commented, “The Michael J. Fox Foundation has established itself at the hub for innovation in the search for new Parkinson’s disease treatments. We are thrilled to become part of that scientific community and to apply our novel scientific approach to address the burden of this disease for patients and their families.”

There is strong biological rationale supporting the case for delta-opioid agonists to produce anti-parkinsonian effects. Trevena has scientific evidence to suggest that its proprietary biased ligands avoid the on-target mediated convulsions found with traditional delta-opioid agonists, offering the possibility of a new approach to treat Parkinson’s disease symptoms.

Trevena’s MJFF award follows a recent 5-year National Institute of Health (NIH) Blueprint Neurotherapeutics Network Award to develop biased delta-opioid ligands for depression through Phase 1 clinical studies.

About The Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Research

As the world’s largest private funder of Parkinson’s research, The Michael J. Fox Foundation is dedicated to accelerating a cure for Parkinson’s disease and improved therapies for those living with the condition today. The Foundation pursues its goals through an aggressively funded, highly targeted research program coupled with active global engagement of scientists, Parkinson’s patients, business leaders, clinical trial participants, donors and volunteers. In addition to funding more than $270 million in research to date, the Foundation has fundamentally altered the trajectory of progress toward a cure. Operating at the hub of worldwide Parkinson’s research, the Foundation forges groundbreaking collaborations with industry leaders, academic scientists and government research funders; increases the flow of participants into Parkinson’s disease clinical trials with its online tool, Fox Trial Finder; promotes Parkinson’s awareness through high-profile advocacy, events and outreach; and coordinates the grassroots involvement of thousands of Team Fox members around the world. Now through December 31, 2012, all new and increased giving to The Michael J. Fox Foundation, as well as gifts from donors who have not given since 2009 or earlier, will be matched on a dollar-for-dollar basis with the $50-million Brin Wojcicki Challenge, launched by Sergey Brin and Anne Wojcicki. For more information, visit: www.michaeljfox.org .

About Biased Ligands

Traditional GPCR ligands either turn on or turn off all of the cellular signaling pathways engaged by a particular receptor, which can result in efficacy limitations or undesirable adverse effects. Trevena’s novel drug discovery approach is focused on designing GPCR ligands that are “biased” toward activating one key receptor signaling pathway while blocking another. These biased ligands provide an enhanced level of drug specificity which allows enhanced efficacy or decreased side effects to be designed into the drug candidate.

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