Improving Parkinson’s Trials: A Delphi Study

Under the visionary leadership of Dr Camille Carroll at the University of Plymouth, Cure Parkinson’s has been supporting an exploratory study at the University of Plymouth to understand the best way of improving clinical trials in order to speed up the development of new treatments that might slow or stop the progression of Parkinson’s.

Current clinical trials typically involve evaluating new therapies one at a time, in comparison to a placebo treatment. In addition, the analysis of the results is traditionally left until the end of the study when all of the data has been collected. This format results in a slow path of clinical development and it is acknowledged that the clinical trial process could be much faster and more efficient.

Dr Carroll’s study brought together people with Parkinson’s and their care partners, clinical scientists and representatives from industry, funders and regulators. The aim of the study was to collect many opinions on all aspects of clinical trial design in order to reach agreement on how a clinical trial could be better designed in order to speed up development of new therapies.  To achieve these aims, Dr Carroll’s team carried out a survey-based Delphi study – which allows participants to give their opinions as well as gain insights into the choices of other participants in order to make up their mind about topics covered in the survey.  As a result of this important ground work, funded by Cure Parkinson’s, a significant grant has been awarded by the Edmund J. Safra Foundation for a project called: Accelerating Clinical Treatments for Parkinson’s Disease. This is a collaboration between Dr Camille Carroll, Professors Tom Foltynie and Soania Gandhi at the UCL Movement Disorders Centre and the Medical Research Clinical Trials Unit at UCL, and the broader Parkinson’s community in the UK.

Members of the Cure Parkinson’s research team are delighted to be supporting different aspect of the work with the aim of revolutionising the way we evaluate drugs with the potential to slow down or even stop the progression of Parkinson’s.

Dr Joy Duffen, Cure Parkinson’s

There is an incredible amount of preclinical research being produced at the moment, but the bottle neck is translating it into clinical testing. Our delphi study and the new ACT-PD study could be the first steps in speeding up that process.

Dr Simon Stott, Cure Parkinson’s

The Edmond J. Safra ACT-PD initiative will enable us to evaluate potential cures for Parkinson’s much more rapidly and efficiently.  Innovation of this kind is urgently needed in Parkinson’s research and it is wonderful to see the Parkinson’s community come together behind this initiative.

Dr Richard Wyse, Cure Parkinson’s

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