Parkinson’s disease is a motor system disorder resulting from the loss of dopamine producing brain cells. This loss of dopamine affects normal nerve cell activity in motor regions of the brain, leaving sufferers unable to control their movements. The primary symptoms of Parkinson’s disease are tremors in hands, arms, legs and head; muscle rigidity that leaves the body stiff and the face expressionless; slowness of movement; and impaired balance and coordination.
More than 4 million people worldwide suffer from Parkinson’s disease and almost all are elderly. Annual drug sales to combat this disease are in excess of $ 5 billion.
L-dopa drugs are commonly used to treat Parkinson’s disease to compensate for missing dopamine. L-dopa is particularly effective in the early treatment stage, however, in the long term, L-dopa not only stops working but also causes side-effects in forms of involuntary movements and psychosis.
Clera is developing a series of drugs to extend the efficacy of current L-dopa treatments and another series to treat the side-effect of L-dopa psychosis. Clera’s adjunct therapy to extend L-Dopa’s efficacy has a compound in a Phase IIa human trial which will be completed in mid 2013.