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Use of Androgen for the Treatment of Parkinson’s Disease

Organization:Caritas St. Elizabeth\'s Medical Center of Boston, 01748, US
I.P. Brief:The current treatment elevates levels of brain dopamine, but does not prevent the disease progression. Dr. Xu has taken an approach of administering effective amounts of androgen and androgen analogs to not only increase dopamine synthesis, but also protect brain cells against neurodegeneration
Summary of I.P.:Parkinson disease is the second most common neurodegenerative disease affecting more than a million patients in the US. The source of the disease appear to have sporadic origins, but genetic analysis have identified a number of genes that contribute to Parkinson’s disease susceptibility. The current treatment elevates levels of brain dopamine, but does not prevent the disease progression. These effects are achieved by the cooperation between androgens and a PD-related neuroprotective protein DJ-1 to regulate the production of tyrosine hydroxylase, the rate-limiting enzyme during dopamine synthesis, and the anti-neuronal death property of androgens. Data has been generated that shows an increase in dopamine synthesis and a decrease in neuronal apoptosis. Low testosterone levels have been associated with male PD patients. Androgen therapy could be a novel approach to increase the brain dopamine levels and to prevent the neuronal degeneration, an aspect that is not regulated by the current treatments.
Patent:Patent pending
Keywords:Parkinsons Disease, androgen
Primary Industry:Pharma & Biotech
Specific Market:Parkinson\'s Disease
Market Size:In excess of $1 billion.
State of the Art:The current treatment elevates levels of brain dopamine, but does not prevent the disease progression. Dr. Xu has taken an approach of administering effective amounts of androgen and androgen analogs to not only increase dopamine synthesis, but also protect brain cells against neurodegeneration
Figures of Merit: Low testosterone levels have been associated with male PD patients. Androgen therapy could be a novel approach to increase the brain dopamine levels and to prevent the neuronal degeneration, an aspect that is not regulated by the current treatments.
Tech.  Obstacles:Need to move to large animal models.
Market Obstacles:A commercial partner is needed to move from basic research to a development pathway.
Publications:Parkinson\'s disease associated DJ-1 is a neuroprotective transcriptional co-activator that protects against neuronal apoptosis. Xu J*, Zhong N, Wang H, Elias JE, Kim C, Woldman I, Pifl C, Gygi SP, Geula C and Yankner BA. (2005) Human Molecular Genetics; 14(9):1231-41. Epub 2005 Mar 24
Research Team:Jin Xu, Ph.D.

 

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