Medtronic and Eli Lilly to Fight Parkinson’s Disease

26 April 2011 (Last Updated April 26th, 2011 18:30)

US-based Medtronic has entered into a research project with drug maker Eli Lilly to develop a treatment for Parkinson's disease that will involve delivering medicine directly to the brain. The goal of the collaboration is to combine Lilly's biologic, a modified form of glial cell derive

US-based Medtronic has entered into a research project with drug maker Eli Lilly to develop a treatment for Parkinson's disease that will involve delivering medicine directly to the brain.

The goal of the collaboration is to combine Lilly's biologic, a modified form of glial cell derived neurotrophic factor (GDNF), with Medtronic's implantable drug infusion system technology.

Medtronic's system, comprising a drug pump and catheter, is expected to enable precise delivery of the GDNF variant into a targeted area of the brain.

This form of treatment has the potential to impact the neurodegeneration that leads to worsening symptoms and progression of Parkinson's disease.

Lilly chief scientific officer of the neurodegeneration team Michael Hutton said, "We believe we have biosynthetically engineered this GDNF variant to overcome technical hurdles of previous research in this area and are hopeful that early testing of our biologic with Medtronic's device will provide the necessary data to safely advance into human studies.

"By collaborating with Medtronic from the earliest phase of research, we are maximizing the potential for this therapy's efficient and effective development."