Alfred Sandrock, MD, PhD: Progressing Parkinson's Therapies and What They Target

APRIL 24, 2018
Kevin Kunzmann

Biogen had a busy week at the 70th meeting of the American Academy of Neurology (AAN) in Los Angeles, CA, this week.

Among other news, the pharmaceutical company announced study results from 2 large phase 3 trials for monoclonal antibody aducanumab for Alzheimer’s disease, a phase 2 program for a potential anti-tau antibody disease-modifying therapy (DMT) involving 400-plus patients with progressive supranuclear palsy (PSP); and a phase 2 trial (SPARK)  for an anti-body that targets the alpha-synuclein protein in patients with Parkinson’s disease (PD).

Among the series of study presentations, executive vice president and chief medical officer Alfred Sandrock, MD, PhD, sat down with MD Magazine to deliberate on the issues surrounding hard-to-treat neurodegenerative disease such as PSP and PD.

 “With PSP, we have very few good therapies,” Sandrock said. “In fact, we don’t have any good symptomatic therapies. At least for Parkinson’s, we’ve had (levodopa) for many decades now.”

Current treatments are short-term relief, with potential adverse events leading to dyskinesias, Sandrock noted. While these results drive patients to what should be a last-resort measure in invasive care, Sandrock and his team are driven to find true DMTs for these diseases.

Part of that challenge is knowing what to target in complex neurodegenerative conditions.

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