Herantis Pharma secures EU Horizon 2020 programme grant for Parkinson study


Finnish company Herantis Pharma has secured a grant from the European Union (EU) for the Phase I-II clinical study with its drug candidate cerebral dopamine neurotrophic factor (CDNF) to treat Parkinson’s disease (PD), using a new drug administration device of Renishaw.

With the €6m grant from the EU Horizon 2020 programme (TreatER), Herantis also plans to carry out scientific research at the University of Helsinki and the University of Oxford.

A consortium of 11 members, including Herantis as the formal sponsor of the clinical study and the owner of CNDF patents, and the University of Helsinki will execute the TreatER project.

Herantis Pharma CEO Pekka Simula said: “Horizon 2020 grants are very competitive and this award required a strong European consortium, leading science, and highest potential to advance clinical practicse.

“Collaboration of the TreatER partners has already been unique toward a common goal: breakthrough in the treatment of Parkinson’s disease.”

"Collaboration of the TreatER partners has already been unique toward a common goal: breakthrough in the treatment of Parkinson’s disease."

The consortium also includes Karolinska University Hospital and Lund University Hospital in Sweden, and Helsinki University Hospital in Finland.

Pharmaceutical companies Lundbeck and Orion Pharma, Karolinska Institutet in Sweden, UK-based University of Oxford and Renishaw and the European Parkinson’s Disease Association are also part of the consortium.

University of Helsinki professor Mart Saarma said: “Starting clinical studies is a great moment for a scientist. I am very optimistic about our prospects because CDNF has been efficacious in a number of disease models of Parkinson’s disease.”

The clinical study’s CDNF treatment period will be extended to 12 months under two separate clinical protocols, and includes advanced endpoints such as actigraphy and new PET imaging.

Complete commercial rights to CDNF will be retained by Herantis.

Parkinson’s disease is a slowly progressing neurodegenerative disease caused by the death of dopaminergic neurons in the midbrains.