University of Edinburgh
Parkure has developed a new platform for Parkinson disease drug discovery. We have developed a platform for PD-specific drug discovery. Based on the use of fruitflies, engineered to develop PD symptoms from the human genetic causes, the assay identifies drugs that are then validated using mammal-relevant models. This is what is known as an in-vivo assay. The in-vivo context is richer in biological parameters and allows the discovery of drugs with new mechanisms. Discovery in an in-vivo model also de-risks the downstream stages of discovery. This experimental design combined with the high throughput capability is the closest we have been so far to a primary assay designed to find a cure rather than only symptomatic treatments. Beyond the capacities of the platform the innovation lies in the fact that a high throughput in-vivo assay using a complex behaving organism, such as fruitflies, was not available so far. It is worth noting that making the same approach using e.g. mice would be logistically impossible as well as ethically questionable.