Please ensure Javascript is enabled for purposes of website accessibility

Parkinson's Disease Patients Get Long-Term Benefits From Experimental Gene Therapy

By Cory Renauer – Updated Sep 11, 2020 at 3:28PM

You’re reading a free article with opinions that may differ from The Motley Fool’s Premium Investing Services. Become a Motley Fool member today to get instant access to our top analyst recommendations, in-depth research, investing resources, and more. Learn More

Three years after treatment with NBIb-1817, Parkinson's disease patients still are still showing improvements.

Collaboration partners, Neurocrine Biosciences (NBIX -0.40%) and Voyager Therapeutics (VYGR 1.09%) announced data from an early stage clinical trial with Parkinson's disease patients and NBIb-1817, an experimental gene therapy. Three years after a single administration, 14 out of 15 patients are still reporting motor function improvements.

At the moment, NBIb-1817 is in the middle of a phase 2 study that was put on hold in April due to the COVID-19 pandemic. If allowed to restart, the phase 2 RESTORE-1 trial will randomize patients to receive NBIb-1817 or a placebo, then measure for a change in "On" time without troublesome dyskinesia. 

In the background, a medical professional looks at a DNA double helix model in the foreground.

Image source: Getty Images.

This potential new treatment option uses a viral vector to deliver a gene encoding an enzyme that helps Parkinson's disease patients convert levodopa into the dopamine they need. 

Administering NBIb-1817 requires magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) to guide a pair of infusions that deliver the therapy directly into the striatum, a structure deep in the center of the brain. Needles through the skull aren't anybody's idea of a good time, but the side effects that come with daily doses of levodopa aren't any fun either.

For patients with severe Parkinson's disease that has a diminishing response to levodopa, the temporary discomfort that comes with NBIb-1817 treatment seems like a trade-off most will be willing to accept. Three years after a single treatment with NBIb-1817, patients were able to reduce their daily levodopa doses from a baseline of 1500.9 milligrams per day to 1061.4 milligrams per day. Despite reducing their levadopa intake, patients receiving three different dosage strengths of NBIb-1817 improved average "On" time by up to 2.23 hours.

Cory Renauer has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool recommends Neurocrine Biosciences. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

Invest Smarter with The Motley Fool

Join Over 1 Million Premium Members Receiving…

  • New Stock Picks Each Month
  • Detailed Analysis of Companies
  • Model Portfolios
  • Live Streaming During Market Hours
  • And Much More
Get Started Now

Stocks Mentioned

Neurocrine Biosciences Stock Quote
Neurocrine Biosciences
$121.66 (-0.40%) $0.49
Voyager Therapeutics Stock Quote
Voyager Therapeutics
$5.57 (1.09%) $0.06

*Average returns of all recommendations since inception. Cost basis and return based on previous market day close.

Related Articles

Motley Fool Returns

Motley Fool Stock Advisor

Market-beating stocks from our award-winning analyst team.

Stock Advisor Returns
S&P 500 Returns

Calculated by average return of all stock recommendations since inception of the Stock Advisor service in February of 2002. Returns as of 11/28/2022.

Discounted offers are only available to new members. Stock Advisor list price is $199 per year.

Premium Investing Services

Invest better with The Motley Fool. Get stock recommendations, portfolio guidance, and more from The Motley Fool's premium services.