Wilmington’s Charles River Labs Announces Extended Relationship With Michael J. Fox Foundation

WILMINGTON, MA — Charles River Laboratories International, Inc. recently announced an extension of its long-standing collaboration with The Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Research (MJFF), a leading organization working to support the diagnosis and treatment of Parkinson’s disease (PD).  Since 2011, Charles River and MJFF have worked together to accelerate the discovery of therapies for PD. This latest extension includes grants from MJFF to support two projects:

  • The in vivo phenotyping of an α-synuclein knockout model and an α-synuclein A53T knockin model; and
  • Establishment and validation of a pre-clinical model to test LRRK2 kinase inhibitors.

In Vivo Phenotyping

With MJFF support, Charles River has launched a new project, focused on in vivo phenotyping of an α-synuclein knockout model and an α-synuclein A53T knockin model. Over the next two years, Charles River will develop and provide a baseline phenotype of these models, creating invaluable tools to drive discovery programs aimed at bringing novel PD therapies to the clinic.

LRRK2 Inhibitors

Additionally, Charles River and MJFF have renewed a longstanding project to continue advancing efforts to test novel small molecule LRRK2 kinase inhibitors. The inhibition of the kinase LRRK2, which in humans has been genetically linked to development of PD, is a promising novel therapeutic strategy. The goal is to determine optimal dosing strategies to achieve efficacy with LRRK2 inhibitors, while avoiding the lung alterations that have been reported in previous research.

“We are extremely proud of the work we’ve completed with MJFF. Together, we’ve made strides toward discovering novel therapies for PD patients. We look forward to continuing our collaboration, and believe we will make additional scientific contributions toward MJFF’s cutting-edge research,” said Birgit Girshick, Corporate Executive Vice President, Discovery and Safety Assessment, Charles River

“We are enthusiastic about the start of our new project, phenotyping research models with support from MJFF. It is extremely rewarding for our teams to know that they are making visible progress toward bringing a novel PD therapy to the clinic,” added Robert Hodgson, PhD, Director In Vivo CNS, Integrated Drug Discovery, Charles River

“The Michael J. Fox Foundation is committed to advancing tools and pre-clinical models that speed Parkinson’s research toward urgently needed breakthroughs for patients. Charles River’s strong portfolio of early discovery services has made them a natural partner for us, and we look forward to seeing the outcomes of these projects, which may have a significant impact on development of new treatments for the millions living with this disease,” said Nicole Polinski, PhD, Associate Director of Research Programs, MJFF.

About The Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Research

As the world’s largest private funder of Parkinson’s research, The Michael J. Fox Foundation is dedicated to accelerating a cure for Parkinson’s disease and improved therapies for those living with the condition today. The Foundation pursues its goals through an aggressively funded, highly targeted research program coupled with active global engagement of scientists, Parkinson’s patients, business leaders, clinical trial participants, donors and volunteers. In addition to funding more than $800 million in research to date, the Foundation has fundamentally altered the trajectory of progress toward a cure. Operating at the hub of worldwide Parkinson’s research, the Foundation forges groundbreaking collaborations with industry leaders, academic scientists and government research funders; increases the flow of participants into Parkinson’s disease clinical trials with its online tool, Fox Trial Finder; promotes Parkinson’s awareness through high-profile advocacy, events and outreach; and coordinates the grassroots involvement of thousands of Team Fox members around the world.

About Charles River

Charles River provides essential products and services to help pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies, government agencies and leading academic institutions around the globe accelerate their research and drug development efforts. Our dedicated employees are focused on providing clients with exactly what they need to improve and expedite the discovery, early-stage development and safe manufacture of new therapies for the patients who need them. To learn more about our unique portfolio and breadth of services, visit www.criver.com.

(NOTE: The above press release is from Charles River Labs via BusinessWire.)

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