NIH Awards $2.1M grant for Parkinson’s Research at Wayne State University

9/26/11Follow @XconomyDET

Wayne State University announced last week that one of its professors, Dr. Aloke Dutta, has received a $2.1 million grant for his work researching drugs that ease symptoms caused by Parkinson’s Disease. Dutta and his team aim to develop drugs with multiple ways of working to treat the symptoms of Parkinson’s disease, and also to modify the disease by spurring survival of the dopamine neurons that would otherwise gradually degenerate.

“We’re trying to double up multifunctional drugs,” Dutta says. “We’re still in the discovery process, but we have some encouraging data.”

Dutta believes that Parkinson’s is a poorly understood disease, and that multifunctional drugs that address symptoms as well as generate dopamine offer Parkinson’s patients the best source of relief. Though Dutta is purely in the research phase now, he hopes to move to clinical trials shortly.

“In a perfect world, we could be able to get this kind of drug to market within 10 to 15 years,” Dutta says.

Sarah Schmid is the editor of Xconomy Detroit. You can reach her at 313-570-9823 or Follow @XconomyDET

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