A crucial clinical trial of the most promising new treatment for Parkinson’s disease in decades might be delayed because of a feud between a key scientist and the influential Michael J. Fox Foundation.
The prominent foundation — the richest nonprofit seeking to cure the crippling neurological disorder — initially wanted to collaborate on a study with the Georgetown University researcher. His preliminary findings last year had buoyed patients’ hopes for the first Parkinson’s medicine that might reverse some of their debilitating symptoms.
The trial was supposed to begin in October, but Fox and the Georgetown team had a bitter falling out, and it’s unclear whether Georgetown will be able to obtain the medicine from its manufacturer so that the study can proceed. Fox, meanwhile, is moving forward on its own, and has established a separate group to study the same drug. That trial won’t start until about a year from now — a long wait for millions of Parkinson’s patients worldwide.